Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Race report

NASCAR Talladega: Chastain gifted victory in wild final lap

Ross Chastain claimed victory at Talladega in the NASCAR Cup but received far more help than he expected in a wild final lap.

Race winner Ross Chastain, TrackHouse Racing, Moose Fraternity Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Jasen Vinlove / NKP / Motorsport Images

Erik Jones was leading on the final lap but the drivers behind him were getting antsy to make a move. Kyle Larson moved to the top lane to get around him and Jones followed him in an attempt to block.

Chastain, who was running third on the last lap, elected to remain on bottom lane and when those around darted up the track, he stayed low and held off Austin Dillon by 0.105 seconds to earn his second career win and second this season.

It’s also the Trackhouse Racing driver’s second win in the last five races for the team.

“Holy cow. I’m always the one going to the top too early and making the mistake,” Chastain said. “With eight to go, I was like, ‘No I’m not going up there. I’ll just ride the bottom. I’m not going to lose the race for us.’

“I have no idea [what happened]. They kept moving out of the way!”

Asked what he thought was possible joining Trackhouse this season, Chastain said: “Justin Marks [team co-owner] and what he laid out for us was ambitious, I had no idea what to expect other than I’d have my group from last year.

“They were believing in us. We had a lot of races open [for sponsorship] to start this year, they’re almost all filled now.”

Race winner Ross Chastain, TrackHouse Racing, Moose Fraternity Chevrolet Camaro

Race winner Ross Chastain, TrackHouse Racing, Moose Fraternity Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Jones, dejected, said he wished he had made a different decision on the final lap.

“That last lap, right? I’ve been close here so many times,” he said. “I felt pretty good, but that top line was getting momentum. Looking back, I wish I’d stayed on the bottom.

“I tried to defend [against Larson]. It is what it is, just trying to win the race.”

Kyle Busch also profited from the mistakes ahead to grab third place ahead of Larson in fourth and Martin Truex Jr in fifth.

Despite leading the final lap Jones could only manage a lowly sixth place in the circumstances, in front of Chase Elliott, who continues to lead the drivers’ championship even without finding that overdue first win of the season.

Michael McDowell produced his best result since the Daytona 500 with eighth place, as Alex Bowman and Kevin Harvick completed the top 10.

Richmond winner Denny Hamlin, who had been running in the front group late in the race, was forced to pit with three laps remaining because he was low on fuel and finished in 18th place.

NASCAR Talladega - race results

Cla Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval
1 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 188 3:21'51.971    
2 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 188 3:21'52.076 0.105 0.105
3 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 188 3:21'52.196 0.225 0.120
4 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 188 3:21'52.204 0.233 0.008
5 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 188 3:21'52.221 0.250 0.017
6 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 188 3:21'52.282 0.311 0.061
7 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 188 3:21'52.328 0.357 0.046
8 United States Michael McDowell Ford 188 3:21'52.416 0.445 0.088
9 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 188 3:21'52.429 0.458 0.013
10 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 188 3:21'52.432 0.461 0.003
11 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 188 3:21'52.505 0.534 0.073
12 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 188 3:21'52.753 0.782 0.248
13 United States Aric Almirola Ford 188 3:21'52.958 0.987 0.205
14 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 188 3:21'52.967 0.996 0.009
15 United States William Byron Chevrolet 188 3:21'55.046 3.075 2.079
16 United States Kurt Busch Toyota 188 3:21'55.851 3.880 0.805
17 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 188 3:21'56.543 4.572 0.692
18 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 188 3:22'34.748 42.777 38.205
19 United States Landon Cassill Chevrolet 188 3:22'38.289 46.318 3.541
20 United States Noah Gragson Chevrolet 188 3:22'38.596 46.625 0.307
21 United States Austin Cindric Ford 188 3:22'43.094 51.123 4.498
22 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 187 3:21'53.051 1 Lap 1 Lap
23 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 187 3:21'53.767 1 Lap 0.716
24 United States David Ragan Ford 186 3:22'01.524 2 Laps 1 Lap
25 United States J.J. Yeley Ford 185 3:22'39.578 3 Laps 1 Lap
26 United States B.J. McLeod Ford 172 3:22'05.925 16 Laps 13 Laps
27 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 121 2:26'37.681 67 Laps 51 Laps
28 United States Cody Ware Ford 105 2:08'20.205 83 Laps 16 Laps
29 United States Cole Custer Chevrolet 98 1:53'22.514 90 Laps 7 Laps
30 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 95 1:50'18.813 93 Laps 3 Laps
31 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 92 1:43'51.490 96 Laps 3 Laps
32 United States Joey Logano Ford 89 1:33'57.788 99 Laps 3 Laps
33 United States Ty Dillon Chevrolet 89 1:33'58.476 99 Laps 0.688
34 United States Harrison Burton Ford 89 1:33'58.672 99 Laps 0.196
35 United States Greg Biffle Chevrolet 79 1:16'33.219 109 Laps 10 Laps
36 United States Daniel Hemric Chevrolet 56 47'30.567 132 Laps 23 Laps
37 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 56 47'30.992 132 Laps 0.425
38 United States Chris Buescher Ford 56 47'31.423 132 Laps 0.431
39 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 31 26'04.299 157 Laps 25 Laps

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation

Related video

Previous article NASCAR Bristol: Kyle Busch inherits win after Briscoe and Reddick clash
Next article Hamlin must complete NASCAR sensitivity training for tweet about Larson

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe