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Ross Chastain: good teammate or roadblock?

HAMPTON, GEORGIA – JULY 11: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Gummies Toyota, congratulates his brother, Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 GEARWRENCH Chevrolet, after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart at Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 11, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch was none to happy with Ross Chastain late in the Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday. After all, Busch was held up trying to get by Chastain, allowing Kurt Busch to get by his younger brother to retake the lead and eventual win. After the race, Kyle Busch had some harsh words for Chastain.

“It’s just the same as always,” Kyle Busch said. “We just don’t have enough front end with laps on tires. I had everything I had early in the run and then just smoked it behind the 42 (Chastain), obviously. It shows you what kind of driver he is.”

Chastain didn’t block the younger Busch, but he did take Busch’s preferred line. As Busch said, did the move show what kind of driver Chastain is? Maybe. Maybe it showed Chastain is a good teammate. See, here’s the wrinkle: Chastain is Kurt Busch’s teammate at Chip Ganassi Racing.

“The 42, he did his job as a teammate,” Kurt Busch said. “Ross is going to get a little flak for it, but that’s what it takes to be a good teammate at the right moment, so I couldn’t be more proud of Ross Chastain.”

It’s understandable for the Busch brothers to view the situation differently. After all, they ended up on opposite sides of the coin — Kurt Busch in victory lane and Kyle Busch in second after leading late in the race. Would Kurt Busch have won, anyway, had little brother not been held up by older brother’s teammate? I guess we’ll never really know.

Does Kyle Busch have a legitimate gripe with Chastain, though? I’m guessing if the shoe was on the other foot, and Kurt Busch was held up by one of Kyle Busch’s three Joe Gibbs Racing teammates in the same way Chastain held him up, he wouldn’t see s problem with it. Does Kyle Busch think he’s never gotten an assist from a teammate?

This puts me in mind of the blocking hypocrisy. You know, when drivers complain about blocking one weekend and, then, block somebody the next.

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Posted by on July 13, 2021. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.