Kyle Busch had his first incident of the season with Ross Chastain a couple of weeks ago at Richmond. After the race, the two-time Cup Series champion humorously converted the Trackhouse Racing driver’s last name into a verb by suggesting he had been “Chastained.”
This week before the race at Daytona, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was jovial in visiting with the media, where he talked about a variety of topics — his contract was not one of them — and was asked his thoughts on Chastain and the upcoming playoffs. Busch warned the driver of the No. 1 that payback is coming when it matters most.
Ross Chastain incident with Kyle Busch
Coming into Richmond, Kyle Busch was just looking for a good finish. Those had eluded him for weeks, resulting in the No. 18 car finishing 20th or worse in six of the previous eight races.
He got just what he wanted at Richmond, recording a ninth-place finish, his first top 10 since early June. However, before the final result, he had to overcome some adversity, also known as Ross Chastain.
Just past the halfway point of the race, the Trackhouse Racing driver went into the corner, slid up the track slightly and got into the left rear quarter panel of Busch, sending the yellow M&M’s Toyota for a spin.
The JGR driver noted the incident in his postrace interview. “We got Chastained this week,” he said. “We were his victim this week.”
Busch warns Chastain payback is coming
This week while meeting with the media before the race at Daytona, Fox’s Bob Pockrass brought up Busch’s remarks from Richmond and asked the driver if Chastain needed give and take with other drivers to win the championship.
“Absolutely, you need give and take to win the championship, yes,” Busch said.
The reporter then asked if the watermelon farmer will receive benefit of the doubt when it comes to the end of the playoffs and going to Phoenix.
“Absolutely not,” the driver said. “No way. No chance. I don’t think people are paying him back yet just because they’re waiting for the right time.”
List of drivers that could retaliate
Busch is referring to a lengthy list of drivers Chastain has upset this season after initiating contact. Interestingly, three of them are from the JGR stable, including Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and most notably, Denny Hamlin, who had multiple incidents.
While there was some debate on whether Hamlin got payback at Pocono, Busch clarified the situation.
“Denny got really tight off of Turn 1 at Pocono,” he said with a smile about his teammate. “I know how tight these cars can get. They get tight.”
In other words, Chastain might want to keep an eye on his mirror once the playoffs start. The only problem is he won’t know which car to focus on because there are multiple drivers looking for payback. As they like to say — drivers race other drivers the way they want to be raced. Based on that, Chastain better expect some challenging racing conditions ahead in the postseason.