Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain have had a rivalry going on for some time now.
The Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 11 driver made a statement by intentionally wrecking Chastain earlier this season at Phoenix Raceway. It was a culmination of frustration towards the Trackhouse Racing’s driver.
Since then, the rivalry has cooled down a bit but Chastain has managed to find rivals elsewhere as he has continuously wrecked one driver or another.
Speaking on his Actions Detrimental podcast, Hamlin said that drivers could already be driving differently against Chastain.
“People are thinking, ‘Well, when’s someone gonna do something with Chastain or whatever?’ Maybe they are, and we just aren’t seeing it. Maybe people aren’t cutting him as much room as they would normally. Which is resulting in these contacts happening,”
Hamlin also said that Chastain should be winning more races given the pit crew and the the speed he has. He also added that given Chastain’s aggressive driving style, many drivers in the future will not give him a break, thereby making it harder for him to win races.
“Perhaps if he was on the better side of some of the drivers, he would get a break here and there and his races would go a little less confrontational …You cut me a break, so come on by.’ So, there’s not as much give and take probably with him. Guys are gonna race him more aggressively, which in turn, he races aggressively…I’m just saying it might not be a coincidence.”
Hamlin was the first guy this season to retaliate against Chastain openly. Since then, Noah Gragson had a fight with him after the race. But there are many other drivers who have already complained about him. His recent incident with Kyle Larson drew a lot of backlash from Rick Hedrick and Jeff Gordon, who also warned him that he would be making a lot of enemies if he continues his way.