After a season filled with career firsts – a maiden win and a spectacular lap to qualify for the NASCAR Cup Series Final – Ross Chastain insisted he felt more optimistic than disappointed after missing out on the first title of her career.
Chastain’s #1 Trackhouse Racing Chevy finished third in the season finale at Phoenix Raceway – 1.2 seconds behind winner and new series champion Joey Logano. After starting from 25th on the grid and competing in the Top-5 for most of the final laps, Chastain is confident that he and the just two-year-old Trackhouse Racing team had done all they could. ‘they could. And above all prepared the ground for future races next season.
A successful 2022 NASCAR season for Ross Chastain
“The emotions are surprisingly good.. I’m not sad, I’m not upset. …Actually, I can’t believe how good I feel. I’m so proud and so happy to have gotten this first chance to play for the title.
said Ross Chastain after the race.
The other two championship-eligible drivers, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell and Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott finished 10th and 28th respectively – both of whom ran into trouble on Sunday.
A race in a difficult atmosphere for Christopher Bell
Bell and the entire Joe Gibbs Racing organization received heartbreaking news in the hours leading up to the race. Coy Gibbs – the team’s vice president and chief operating officer – and son of team founder Joe Gibbs – died the night before the race at the age of 49.
Bell said the team got together and decided they should race again on Sunday. And he rode in the top 10 for much of the day, despite the difficult circumstances.
“It was an experience that I have never had in my life. At that time, you don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong. If you should get in the race car and race or if you shouldn’t race. Myself, Denny [Hamlin] and the other JGR riders were all in the same boat, we didn’t know what to do.
“Dave Alpern [président de la JGR] actually came back to the track just before the driver introductions and said to us, ‘You gotta go! « And that’s what we’ve done. »
Crash ends Chase Elliott’s hopes
Elliott, who had won the regular season, also spent time at the front of the pack, but contact between his Chevrolet and Chastain’s on a restart with just over 100 laps to go sent his car into a tailspin. the wall. The team worked on the car, but Elliot eventually finished the race two laps down.
“I’m not sure, I’m not sure. I’m looking forward to the offseason and I’m really proud of our team for the fight we fought today. Like we peaked just before crashing. Our car was running pretty good, we had just made our best pit stop of the day, so everything was solid, and we were just off the 22 [Logano].
Elliott replied when asked about the incident with him and Chastain.
“I thought we had a chance until we didn’t…”
Chase Elliott crash video