More often than not this season, Ross Chastain has been the subject of discussion among the NASCAR professionals.
Chastain has seen his stock grow since the last season after taking his team Trackhouse Racing to the championship 4 race and coming only second to winner Joey Logano among the contenders.
He has started the season in good fashion with five top-five finishes and six top-10 finishes so far this season.
However, he has been the subject of numerous criticism from fellow drivers for his racing antics. He has had on-track incidents with Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch and recently Noah Gragson, with whom he even got into a physical fight after the race.
The Trackhouse Racing’s No. 1 Chevrolet is certainly getting on the nerves of a number of high-profile Cup drivers but former Cup driver Kyle Petty believes that this ability to challenge the establishment is what makes Chastain special.
“OK, everybody likes to complain about Ross Chastain. He is what Joey Logano was. We go back a number of years; everybody liked to complain about Joey Logano,” Petty said.
“What happens is, when you have a new guy running at the sharp end of the stick, what I mean is winning races and challenging the establishment, people are going to complain.”
Petty didn’t just stop there and even likened his driving to that of the legendary Dale Earnhardt Sr.
“Get off of Ross Chastain’s back. Here’s the deal: Ross Chastain drives like Richard Petty, like Cale Yarborough, like Dale Earnhardt Sr. did in a lot of ways, like Joey Logano does. He has one purpose, it’s to win the race.”
“He didn’t come to make friends, he didn’t come to bake you a cake, to sing happy birthday to you, to hang out with you in the bus lot. He came to take your trophy and take your money, and that’s what he does on a fairly consistent basis.”
While Chastain is yet to win this season, he is certainly challenging the establishment. Despite the aggressive racing antics, he seems to be generating a lot of fanfare, with Larson recently admitting that he has the potential to be more popular than Chase Elliott.