There are many drivers who have talked about “payback” during the 2022 NASCAR Series Cup season. Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain has heard the comments directed at him, but he’s not worried.
The driver of the #1 Chevrolet Camaro made the comments during a press conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He explained that the entire summer has been a learning experience for him and that he is now approaching the races differently than he did earlier in the year. He also detailed his focus during the remaining events in the table.
“Go racing. I think the cool thing about this sport, is that every seven days we pack up and move the circus to another city and do it again,” Chastain said. “I feel like I’m in a good place in the garage. The summer was definitely tough, I learned a lot from that and we will continue to learn and develop through this sport and this series.
“It’s incredible to race against your heroes, but it’s kind of weird and humbling when your heroes get angry at you. So, it was definitely a learning experience.”
Hindsight is 20/20 for Chastain
Summer hasn’t been going so smoothly, especially for Chastain. He had some sparring with several drivers on the track, took a penalty at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for cutting a section of the track, and struggled to compete for the top ten during the last six races of the regular season.
Would Chastain go back and make some changes if he could? definitely. However, that is not possible, so he will just have to move forward and take care of business in the remaining 2022 Cup Series races while fighting for a place in the fourth championship.
“Some of the things I did all summer – looking back – I would have done differently,” Chastain added. “It’s going to be some of my post-race attitude that I’ll do differently. But a lot of things are on the track, I can definitely clean up. In the Cup series, I’ve never driven cars that fast and just wanted to take full advantage of it because I thought it might go away.
“Now, as I saw during qualifying – what really opened my eyes – the Trackhouse arrival here is staying. We’re not just a flash in the pan early in the season when the car was new and no one really knew what the springs and shocks were like.”
1 The driver may not deliver the recovery
Denny Hamlin has been one of the busiest drivers during the 2022 season. He’s run multiple runs with Chastain, and he has indicated there could be a payoff at a pivotal time.
One of the main opportunities will be Martinsville Speedway, the race that is the last chance to punch a ticket to the fourth championship. If Chastain still needs to secure his spot, Hamlin or another driver can choose to disrupt his race. Although this is not at the top of Hamlin’s mind.
The driver of the #11 Toyota Camry met members of the media on October 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He faced questions about whether Chastain was “still in sight.” Hamlin responded by saying that the only thing he still focused on was taking the checkered flag. He will discover everything after that.
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