NASCAR star Ross Chastain ‘has some things he’s got to clean up,’ his team owner says

Ross Chastain’s aggressiveness has made him one of the most well-known NASCAR drivers on the Cup circuit and also a mortal enemy of some of his colleagues in the sport.

After Sunday’s crash at Darlington Raceway with Kyle Larson, he drew the ire of legendary team owner Rick Hendrick, who warned Chastain he is “going to make a lot of enemies.”

Justin Marks, the owner of Trackhouse Racing, admitted in an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that his driver “has some things he’s got to clean up.”


“We’ve had many conversations with many people today. Some difficult conversations. I think the important message here is that we are a believer in Ross’ talents. That’s obvious,” Marks said. “He’s very fast. But he’s got some things he’s got to clean up. We today started the process of more aggressively handling that — with our partners, with Ross and with our team. Not necessarily because we’re mad at him, but there’s so much opportunity here.

“We’re addressing it. I’m going to take a more active role in it. I love the kid. I love the opportunity it’s given every single person at Trackhouse to be able to put a championship run together. But there’s stuff that has to be cleaned up. It’s a process he’s going to have to start going through sooner rather than later.”

Chastain got into a heated incident with Noah Gragson at the end of the Kansas race. Chastain connected on a punch to Gragson before NASCAR officials separated the two.


Marks said he supports Chastain but lamented making Chevrolet look bad.

“Ross drove a great race,” Marks added. “He made good decisions in the first and second stages and not racing guys super hard, letting a couple of people go, managing that give and take.

“Then it all kind of fell apart at the end. (If) Ross clears Kyle and makes that pass and wins the throwback weekend at Darlington seven days after a scuffle on pit road, and the guy is a legend. He’s got the skill to do that; he’s got the ability to do that. The result was just bad — bad for everybody. It was bad for Hendrick, bad for Chevrolet, bad for Trackhouse and for Ross as the points leader.”

Chastain is currently in first place in the points standings. Though he does not have any wins this season so far, he has five top 5 finishes and six top 10 finishes. He also leads the Cup Series with five stage wins.

NASCAR returns to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the All-Star Race on Sunday night.

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