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Ross Chastain Sends Out an 8-Word Comment Concerning NASCAR Grid

Published 09/08/2023, 8:37 PM EDT

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After the Nashville race in June, Ross Chastain seems to have been flying under the radar, a departure from his usual dancing through the field. Yet, even while keeping his cards close to his chest and maintaining a steady drive, Chastain has managed to clinch impressive finishes, like the recent P5 at Darlington. Looking ahead to the upcoming Kansas Speedway race, the No. 1 Chevy seems to be sitting pretty, given his noticeable uptick in performance.

Concerning the same, in the lead-up to the Darlington showdown, during a media brief, Ross Chastain threw down the gauntlet, sounding a clear alarm bell for his team and rivals. While fans wait for another “Hail Melon”, let’s dive deeper into what Chastain has to share before the No. 1 Chevy leads the grid on the Kansas Speedway.

What did Ross Chastain say ahead of a scintillating Kansas Speedway race?

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Trackhouse Racing‘s ace, Ross Chastain, has punched his ticket to the playoffs for the second consecutive year and is setting his sights on clinching a spot in the coveted final four, replicating his 2022 feat. If he keeps the pedal to the metal as he did in Darlington, the Kansas Speedway could very well be his golden ticket to advance into the further playoff rounds.

Chastain has improved consistently on the Kansas Speedway since 2022. Since May 2022, he has continuously improved his track performance, achieving P7, P7, and an outstanding P5 in the last three races. This year, he might be hungry for more and could very well have his eyes on that P1 prize.

Leading up to the second playoff race, the confidence in Chastain’s voice was unmistakable when quizzed about whether he felt he stood out amongst the competition. As per foxsports.com, the No. 1 Chevy remarked, “I would say so, yeah. The racing on track has been nice. I’m not getting crowded up in the fence every chance they get. It’s been good and had some good conversations and we’ll go race.”

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Driving the point home, he subtly threw down the gauntlet to his rivals, stating, “So that’s ultimately what we’re going to go do is go race. ... We want to win, so we’ll make those decisions when we get there.”

Sealing a victory sooner rather than later is crucial for Chastain. He’d surely prefer to sidestep the nail-biting tension of pulling another ‘Hail Melon’ maneuver, much like last year.

Would Chastain ever pull another Hail Melon stunt, or perhaps unleash a new ace from the deck this year?

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Last year, in a neck-and-neck race with Denny Hamlin for the final berth in the Round of 8, Chastain pulled a move straight out of a video game playbook—the legendary wall ride at Martinsville. In the race’s twilight, he threw caution to the wind, flooring the pedal and making a daring dash against the wall, using the momentum to slingshot past his rivals. This audacious play not only landed him the last golden ticket to NASCAR’s championship showdown but also had the global racing fraternity tip their hats in awe. Undoubtedly, it was a crowning moment of the 2022 season, if not one for the ages.

Yet, fast forward to now, and the reigning Nashville Cup kingpin, when quizzed about any possible wild cards for this playoff season, revealed he’s not playing coy this year. When Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports threw the gauntlet, trying to glean any potential track surprises Chastain might unveil, he jovially retorted, “Nothing up these sleeves, Bob. Nothing trick.”

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Furthermore, the Trackhouse Racing maestro also shed some light on his roadmap to the Championship-4, stating, “We’ll just go try to scrape up as many points as we can each round and transfer through. We can win one of these or a few of these. It’s OK to win. Somebody’s got to. No Hail Melon. Just go beat them.”

Last year, at Martinsville, with the wind in his sails, he surged past five competitors in a heartbeat, clinching that coveted championship spot. While it remains a mystery if he’s got any more video game-inspired tricks left to play, one thing’s certain: Chastain knows how to serve a spectacle, ensuring fans get their money’s worth every single time.

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer for EssentiallySports. Her ability to capture the spirit of the exhilarating races and relay the enthusiasm to her readers distinguishes her as a sports journalist. Neha's articles strike a nice balance between technical accuracy and story-telling.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta