Chastain watching his mirrors in playoff elimination race

by | Sep 16, 2022 | Sports

Ross Chastain, the driver with a growing list of enemies, heads into the first elimination race of NASCAR’s playoffs in a pretty comfortable position above the cutline. It’s Kyle Busch, and Austin Dillon, Chase Briscoe and Kevin Harvick, who are trying to stave off elimination Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. And yet Chastain can’t relax, even as he sits ninth in the 16-driver field. The bottom four in the standings will be eliminated when the checkered flag falls at the Tennessee short track, and Chastain can’t guarantee he won’t be knocked below that cutline. He’s angered enough fellow drivers this year that any payback headed his way could be delivered at a most inopportune time. “I can’t speak for what other people are thinking,” Chastain said before Friday’s practice and qualifying at Bristol. “I just know that I hit the wall nice and hard at Pocono.”Pocono is where Denny Hamlin refused to give Chastain even an inch of room on the track on a late restart because of previous incidents between the two. Hamlin had already declared “I’ve reached my peak” with Chastain before his aggressive retaliation forced Chastain into the wall. Since …

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