Denny Hamlin shared his thoughts on the confrontation between Ross Chastan and Noah Gragson following the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway that ended with Chastain socking Gragson with a right fist.
Gragson was not happy with Chastain after the two were racing side by side and Gragson ran into the wall. He would show his displeasure on the track by driving down into Chastain and forcing him onto the apron.
He would later spin out by himself, bringing out the caution.
Following the race, Gragson confronted Chastain by grabbing his uniform and began repeatedly dropping expletives, accusing Chastain of dooring him into the fence.
Chastain had enough and threw a right fist that connected squarely with Gragson’s face. Gragson attempted to counter, but he was stopped by security guards who quickly broke the two of them up.
Hamlin shared his thoughts on the scuffle during his podcast Actions Detrimental after he celebrated victory during the AdventHealth 400.
First, he discussed the on-track incident saying, “It looked very similar to Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson from last year, where Kyle Larson kind of ran right up on the door of Bubba Wallace and it caused his car to go right and into the fence. You could say that happened on the last lap as well.”
“I don’t think it was anything intentional, for sure, on Chastain’s part,” Hamlin said. “Like he said, ‘I left a lane.’ Not a lane and a quarter, not a lane and a half. He left a lane. So I think that’s kind of what happens.”
He then chided Gragson, “When you’re on the outside, you gotta predict that’s going to happen and you need to start kind of letting up sooner. And so Noah didn’t. he just held his line and got into the wall. And then voiced his displeasure by dooring Chastain down the straightaway.”
When the discussion moved to Noah confronting Chastain after the race, Hamlin gave him props saying, “Give mad props to Noah to like, ‘Hey, I’m gonna be a man and at least go confront him.’ Because others, myself included, haven’t confronted Chastain when they felt wrong by him. We just get off in the media and spout off about them and say how big of a dick he is.”
He added, “But Noah’s like, ‘Nah, I’m gonna go over there. I’m gonna do what these other drivers have not.'”
Hamlin continued to share his thoughts on the fight, “I think Chastain was willing to talk and Chastain’s been very level-headed in these conversations. Again, I’ve had multiple with him after the race, but he’s been very level-headed. He’ll talk to you and talk it through.”
“Now, maybe Noah didn’t get the response he was looking for in that moment, which that appeared was the first part of it. … But it seemed like Chastain was just like being very matter of fact about what happened and it just pissed Noah off more. So Noah grabbed him with his left hand.”
After going in-depth to the moments leading up to Chastain punching Gragson, and Gragson attempting to counter, Hamlin shared his opinion that he wished the fight would not have been interrupted, “It sucks that that happened. I wish they would have let it go. Let it go until it gets to the floor, and then you come up. Noah got his counter intercepted by security.
He then declared, “So Chastain once again gets a huge W. Got him on the track, got him off the track, and nothing happened ”
Hamlin would then once lather on some praise for Gragson, “The guy can take a f***ing punch though. I appreciate the guy’s jaw. … Noah’s taken a few punches here. I just hope it doesn’t make Noah hestitant.”
He added, “I don’t think it will stop him. I think he’s one of those guys that’s just he’s gonna keep coming back. And he’s going to make sure he gets the first punch next time.”
He then pronounced, “Wildly entertaining for sure. NASCAR wins on this one. Huge, banner day for NASCAR. Great race on the racetrack. They had a great fight in the pit area.”
What do you make of Hamlin’s analysis of this scuffle?