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William Byron Recipient of Lucky Win At Darlington

Ross Chastain can’t seem to shake controversy. Love him or hate him, it follows him around like a shadow. This week, William Byron found himself to be the fortunate recipient of a win thanks to another Chastain kerfuffle. This win puts Byron on top with 3 wins this season,. While only 5th in points, he is the leading candidate for the playoffs.

(Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images/NASCAR Media)

Let’s back up just a moment. Chastain started 5th but was in the hunt all day winning Stage 2 and leading 93 laps. Like everyone else, it was chase Martin Truex, Jr. around the track for much of the early part of the race. MTJ won Stage 1 and led 145 laps before his car tightened up and put him behind Chastain at pap 151. At the end of Stage 2, Chastain and Truex got together which hurt Truex more than Chastain. Of course, that put MTJ further into the field where he got caught up in an eight-car wreck.

Even with the damage to his car, Ross Chastain was able to stay up front and race for the win as the laps dwindled down. The big wreck that took out Truex set the stage for a showdown between Chastain and Kyle Larson. Chastain and Larson were battling door to door and as Chastain squeezed Larson on the high side, he lost it and turned himself in front of Larson. Larson was furious and continued to push Chastain sideways until he could get off of him. That created a final caution where Byron outdistanced Kevin Harvick in the final 2 laps for the win.

RESPECT

Let’s back up even further, to Saturday’s Xfinity race finish where Kyle Larson battled Ryan Hunter Nemechek hard for the win. Both drivers were in a drag race to the finish when Larson squeezed up close to the wall, bounced off the wall and sent Nemecheck spinning.

At Kansas last week, Denny Hamlin grabbed his first win of the season after he bumped Kyle Larson out of the way. As the two were driving hard for the win, Hamlin got right to Larson’s rear bumper, gave him a nudge that caused Larson to wiggle and bump the wall allowing Hamlin to get by for the win.

No one was crying foul all that much after these two incidents. And why not? Because Ross Chastain was not involved? I would like to know what the difference is between what he did to Kyle Larson and what Ross Chastain did? Denny, and others, have bemoaned the lack of “respect” on the track and pointed directly at Chastain. Some veteran drivers point at younger drivers because they feel entitled to go where they want on track and less experienced drivers should move over for them.

That’s not racing, folks.

Next up: The All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro

I haven’t watched the All-Star race in, well, a long time. And the only reason to watch it this year is the venue. NASCAR is returning to the famous track for the first time since 1996 so it’s kind of hard to predict a winner. None of the current Cup drivers have ever raced on the track. The last winner was Jeff Gordon who dominated the race by leading 207 laps.

The short track should offer a great time clocking in at only .625 mile. This is a bit shorter than Richmond but bigger than the Coliseum. It will also be a bit of a time commitment considering the race in and the breaks between heats.

It will also be interesting to see how much “respect” drivers give each other on this short track in a dash for cash. No points are on the line this week, just bragging rights.

Enjoy the race and keep the shiny side up!

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