Ross Chastain steals victory at Talladega Superspeedway | Sports

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Ross Chastain surveyed his scenario on the ultimate lap at Talladega Superspeedway and determined his greatest technique was to remain proper the place he was and never make a transfer for the win.

It obtained him to victory lane.

Chastain stole the win Sunday when chief Erik Jones moved out of his strategy to defensively block reigning NASCAR champion Kyle Larson. It cleared the lane for Chastain, who pointed his Chevrolet straight, slipped previous Jones and picked up his second profession Cup victory.

“Holy cow! We didn’t do anything! We just stayed down there!” Chastain screamed over his radio.

The race was Jones’ to regulate on the ultimate lap and he knew Larson would make a transfer for the win. Larson waited till they had been exiting the ultimate flip and, in hindsight, Jones stated he ought to have let him go and stayed put with Chastain on his bumper.

“Looking back, I wish I would have stayed on the bottom and let (Chastain) push me,” Jones stated. “It is what it is. You’re trying to just win the race. You can only see how much is going on from the seat. You’re trying to make the best decision you can the last 1,500 feet.”

Chastain, who scored his first profession Cup win final month on the highway course at Circuit of the Americas, received for the second time in 5 races. This one was his first on a superspeedway, the place he stated he is normally the driving force who makes the flawed strikes.

“I’m always the one going to the top early and making the mistake and there at the end it was like eight to go, and I was like, ‘I’m not going up there again,’” Chastain stated. “I did that a couple of times, I was like, ‘I’ll just ride on the bottom. I’m not going to lose the race for us.’

“I have no idea. They just kept going up. They just kept moving out of the way.”

The eighth-generation watermelon farmer from Florida climbed out of his successful TrackHouse Racing entry by the open roof flaps — like a sunroof — and smashed a watermelon from the roof of the Chevy in celebration.

Chastain additionally bit right into a hunk of watermelon he picked up off the bottom, however this time requested on Fox Sports if any seeds had gotten caught in his beard. He did his total stay tv interview following his win in Texas final month with a little bit of watermelon rind caught on his face.

The successful automotive was the identical Chevrolet that Chastain drove to victory on a highway course a month in the past, however NASCAR’s new Next Gen mannequin makes it simply adaptable to the totally different circuits on the schedule. The automotive can also be extra sturdy than previous fashions, which cuts down on cautions — even at crash-fest Talladega. The total third stage Sunday was caution-free.

Chastain and William Byron are the one a number of race winners by 10 Cup occasions — 1 / 4 of the season. He’s solidly locked into the playoffs with TrackHouse, a second-year crew owned by former driver Justin Marks and Pitbull.

Chastain, in his first season with TrackHouse, by no means imagined a lot success out of the gate.

“Are you kidding me? I’ve wrecked myself so many times and gotten into it with guys,” Chastain stated. “Justin Marks and what he laid out for us was bold. I had no thought what to anticipate aside from I knew I had my group from final yr. (Sponsors are) believing in us. We began the yr with a whole lot of races open (for funding). We’re virtually full now, and it’s due to the imaginative and prescient of Justin Marks.

“We won, dude!”

Austin Dillon completed second for Richard Childress Racing in a 1-2 sweep for Chevrolet, whereas Kyle Busch was third in a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Larson wound up fourth for Hendrick Motorsports, adopted by JGR driver Martin Truex Jr. after which lastly Jones, who fell all the way in which to sixth attempting to avoid wasting the win. Michael McDowell in eighth was the highest-finishing Ford.

“It’s typical here. Been close here so many times,” Jones stated.

Larson was equally disenchanted, believing Sunday was the primary time he is ever been in rivalry to win on a superspeedway.

“Honestly the first time I’ve had a legit shot at winning a plate race in the Cup series, so happy about that,” Larson stated. “But when you are that close — and I was in the exact position I wanted to be in, I didn’t want to be leading — I feel like I did a good job with patience and stuff. Just made one small mistake there and it cost me one.”


Roger Penske was on the observe searching for a second Team Penske superspeedway victory this season however noticed three of his automobiles collected in a single crash.

Joey Logano was within the third row on a restart throughout the second stage and never even as much as full pace when Bubba Wallace knocked him out of line and into the surface wall. Logano’s automotive then shot again down into the sector and teammates Austin Cindric, the Daytona 500 winner, and Harrison Burton, who drives for Penske affiliate The Wood Brothers, had been amongst these collected within the eight-car crash.

The crash truly collected 5 of the 16 Ford drivers within the race, and an earlier accident knocked out one other two when Chase Briscoe and Chris Buescher had been eradicated. The Ford group was essentially the most organized producer on the season-opening Daytona 500 and used their technique to get Cindric into victory lane.

It marked the third time within the final 4 races at Talladega that Logano has crashed out, and it was his first DNF of the season.

“You’re getting pushed from behind. You’re pushing the car in front. There’s nothing you can do, and I was the one that got shuffled out,” Logano stated. “It stinks. It’s Talladega. I don’t know, some people love it. I can’t say I do.”


The Cup Series races subsequent Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Delaware. Alex Bowman is the defending race winner.


More AP auto racing: and—Sports

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