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Chastain punches Gragson in pit road fight at Kansas

An incident that didn’t even involve direct contact on the track certainly ended with plenty on pit road following Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Kansas Speedway.

With a little over 60 of 267 laps remaining in Sunday’s race, Noah Gragson, Ross Chastain and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got three-wide racing for position through Turns 3 and 4.

Chastain got loose and his No. 1 Trackhouse Chevrolet drifted up the track and close to Gragson, who was running in the outside lane.

Chastain never made contact with Gragson but the situation resulted in Gragson hitting the outside wall. Gragson did come back down the track and hit the right-side of Chastain’s No. 1 Chevrolet afterwards.

Several laps later, Gragson spun off Turn 2, which ended what had been one of his best runs of the 2023 season. He was credited with a 29th-place finish.

Gragson apparently did not take kindly to the close quarters racing and confronted Chastain on pit road after the race. Gragson grabbed Chastain and pushed him several times before Chastain struck Gragson in the face.

 

The two were then quickly separated by NASCAR officials. Chastain went on to Victory Lane where he congratulated Denny Hamlin – another driver with whom he has had a history of incidents – on his win.

“I got tight off of (Turn) 4 for sure. Noah and I have a very similar attitude on the race track, and we train together, we prepare together, we know every very little bit about each other,” Chastain said.

“Yeah, I definitely crowded him up off of (Turn) 4, and he took a swipe at us in (Turn) 3, and then he came down and grabbed a hold of me (on pit road), and a very big man once told me we have a no-push policy here at Trackhouse.”

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Chastain said he was not surprised Gragson confronted him after the race.

“He did the same thing after Talladega at the plane, and nothing happened. It was not the first time he approached me like that,” he said.

In an interview with Motor Racing Network, Gragson claimed Chastain “fenced” him.

“Completely used us up and fenced the (expletive) out of us,” he said. “I am not going to tear up the Trackhouse guys’ stuff up, I respect their hard work and everything. Nobody confronts the guy. I went down there and grabbed him. I’m sick and tired of it.

“The guy just runs into everyone. When you got guys like Chase Elliott, other guys telling you to go beat his ass. Everyone’s sick and tired of him but nobody … goes up and get him. I’m tired of it.”

Chastain finished fifth and remains the series points leader although he is still looking for his first win of the season.

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