NASCAR announces decision on Ross Chastain, Noah Gragson fight

Ross Chastain, Noah Gragson, Kansas, NASCAR (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Ross Chastain, Noah Gragson, Kansas, NASCAR (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Elton Sawyer announced that there will be no penalties after Sunday’s altercation between Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain.

Trackhouse Racing Team’s Ross Chastain has been known to never give an inch when it comes to competing for positions in NASCAR Cup Series races, even to the point where he has made contact with and ruffled the feathers of several other drivers.

In Sunday afternoon’s race at Kansas Speedway, he left very little room for Legacy Motor Club rookie Noah Gragson coming out of turn four, and Gragson made contact with the wall. The contact ruined Gragson’s race, and he finished in 29th place. Chastain, meanwhile, finished in fifth.

Many drivers have done nothing more than talk about how Chastain drives in the past. In other words, it’s “all bark and no bite”.

Gragson tried to change that after Sunday’s race. He confronted the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet and grabbed his fire suit. Chastain, who gave Gragson a warning and told him to “stop”, proceeded to throw — and land — a punch to the face of the driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet after he refused to do so. Security then intervened.

Chastain later made clear that there is a “no push policy” at Trackhouse Racing Team, while others voiced support for Gragson, most notably Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott. Elliott told him that “somebody’s got to do it” after the situation had unfolded.

As expected, there will be no penalties issued to Ross Chastain or Noah Gragson by NASCAR.

Here is what NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Elton Sawyer had to say on Tuesday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive”.

"“We’ve looked at that, we’ve talked about it and we’ll continue to have conversations with Ross and Noah. As we’ve said before, our sport is an emotional sport. Our guys, again, using Sunday, everybody was on the edge, so when you felt like your day hasn’t gone the way you had hoped it would and someone may have impacted that in a way that you’re not happy, you’re gonna show your displeasure.“We’ll continue to have some dialogue with those two organizations to make sure we’re in a good place, but thought that Noah and Ross both … they got to a level there that, obviously, we would have preferred not to have seen, but they were both showing their displeasure of what happened, but again, it’s an emotional sport, and from time to time, you are going to have disagreements and you’re gonna see that.”"

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Chastain is the points leader through the first 12 races of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. Gragson has struggled throughout his rookie season and sits in 32nd place in the standings, still seeking his first top 10 finish.