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via Getty

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Ross Chastain was a strong contender to be a champion in the 2022 Cup Series, holding a second place in the standings with two impressive wins at COTA and Talladega. He hoped to carry his exceptional form into the 2023 season and he proved himself this season too with his lead during initial races. However, his performance took a downturn after the Darlington race. NASCAR enthusiasts speculated that Rick Hendrick’s comments may have affected him, while others believed there might be issues with his car.

Till then, Chastain’s playoff spot was still uncertain as he sought his first win of the season. Finally, in the 17th race of the season, he was able to secure a victory. Prior to that, Chastain was seen as a strong contender for the championship, and rightfully so, given his outstanding performance the previous year. In a recent podcast on NBC, former race car driver and commentator for NBC, Dale Jarrett, shared insights about Chastain’s potential as a future champion.

Dale Jarrett Tells Whether Is Ross Chastain a “Championship Caliber”?

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During a recent NBC podcast featuring Dale Jarrett, Jeff Burton, Nate Ryan, and Kyle Petty, the hosts discussed Ross Chastain’s post-race interview. When the interviews had asked if he and his team were ‘Championship Caliber’, Chastain replied, “I have no idea!”

When the podcast hosts opened the floor to discuss the ‘Championship Caliber’ question, Dale Jarrett commented, “It might not be a fair question there because he is trying to enjoy a win. This win came with no consequences of anybody being mad at him. (…) So he didn’t make anybody mad, he did this.”

He continued, “Ross is so genuine, some people I would think that maybe they just guy dodges in the question than ‘hey I don’t want to think about that until its time you know and I just go race’. But Ross really means that he just wants to go race, he is ready to go Chicago now and see what that brings and move on to the next one after that.”

“He knows that because of last year, because of what his team and what he was able to accomplish that they are championship caliber material but doesn’t want to go throw that out there that if he goes and says that all of a sudden people say ‘Well, he has won one race and now he is bragging about this,’” Jarrett added.

Three-time Daytona winner concluded his point by saying, “He certainly is the championship-caliber driver and they’re that kind of team too.” 

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Ross Chastain Beats His Childhood Hero on Track Who Once Criticized Him

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Everyone has their idols in their respective fields, and it is truly fortunate for those who get the opportunity to compete against them. Ross Chastain had such an experience, and he openly shared his emotions about surpassing his heroes.

After his victory at Nashville, Ross revealed the story of his first encounter with his idol. He recounted, “I first met Martin Truex Jr. at a Bass Pro Shops in Fort Myers, Florida when our local one opened and he signed a Chevy trucks hat for me. And I still have it on my childhood bedroom wall hanging up.”

“The Sharpie is about to fade off, but it’s still barely there. Is a hero, he was an idol of mine and then to go to battle against him and then have criticism from him.”

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“And to go back and forth and him to air block me at Dover as he did. When I thought we were just as fast there, was humbling. And to go up against my heroes like that and now to beat him tonight and drive by him and the #11 [Denny Hamlin] was definitely a statement,” the Watermelon Man concluded.

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READ MORE: Ross Chastain Adds Another Name to His Growing List of Enemies, Led By Hamlin & Larson, at Gateway