Temperatures at Kansas Speedway Sunday exceeded 110 degrees in the cars, making the AdventHealth 400 the hottest race this season in the NASCAR Cup Series, but tempers also were hot after the race between Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain.
During the race, Chastain carried Gragson high and into the wall. Gragson came back across the track and bumped Chastain’s Chevrolet’s right side to let him know his displeasure. Chastain eventually finished fifth to winner Denny Hamlin, while Gragson had to settle for 29th, five laps down.
After the race, the two met on pit road and were in a discussion when Gragson grabbed Chastain’s uniform near his right shoulder with his left hand. Chastain then held Gragson’s right arm with his left hand. When Gragson shook Chastain, the Florida native threw a punch with his right hand. Two NASCAR security men quickly grabbed the two and separated them, preventing additional punches from landing. They were quickly joined by NASCAR officials.
Punches thrown between Ross Chastain and Noah Gragson after Kansas! pic.twitter.com/vzojr7Jn7H
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) May 7, 2023
“He (Chastain) fenced us here and I’m just over it,” Gragson told FOX Sports pit reporter Regan Smith. “Nobody else has the balls to at least confront him. At least grab him and do something. He’s just gonna keep doing it. I’m over it. It’s the second time.
“I have respect for Justin Marks and the rest of the Trackhouse team. That’s why I’m not wrecking him on the race track, but I’m ready to fight him. I didn’t even get a shot in because security guards got in the middle of it. Nobody confronts the guy. He just keeps doing it and I’m sick and tired of it.”
Chastain admitted his Chevrolet got tight exiting turn four when he carried Gragson into the wall.
“Noah and I have a very similar attitude on the race track,” Chastain said. “We train together. We prepare together. We know every little bit about each other.
“I definitely crowded him up off of (turn) four. He took a swipe at us out of (turn) three. (After the race) he came down and grabbed ahold of me. A very big man once told me we have a no-push policy here at Trackhouse.