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Chastain Falls Short at Homestead-Miami After Valiant Effort

(Photo: Dylan Nadwodny | The Podium Finish)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Same song, different verse.

Much like last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Ross Chastain had a chance to win his way into the Championship 4. He ultimately finished second for the second consecutive time, but it was a different set of circumstances on Sunday.

At Las Vegas, Chastain was seemingly in the driver’s seat. He took the lead from Chase Briscoe on a restart with 16 laps to go and started to drive away. Quickly, Joey Logano hunted him down on fresh tires and set up a pass. With three to go, Logano snuck by Chastain to win and lock himself into the Championship 4.

Chastain had one of the dominant cars at Las Vegas — leading 68 laps. But at Homestead, it was Chastain chasing the dominant car. He fought a tight condition early, finishing 14th in Stage 1 before earning three points with an eighth-place finish in Stage 2. In the final stage, Chastain’s car started to free up and he drove into the top five.

On a restart with 17 laps to go, Kyle Larson, who dominated and led 199 laps, had the lead after winning the race of pit road despite contact with Martin Truex Jr. Chastain lined up next to him and showed some speed around Larson, but AJ Allmendinger entered the mix from third and Larson drove away.

Chastain and Allmendinger battled all the way to the checkered flag, where Chastain eventually claimed second for good.

(Photo: Sam Draiss | The Podium Finish)

“Not the way you would have scripted it. I feel like we had a top three or four car all day,” Chastain said after the race. “We needed to get the car turning better from qualifying into the race. We were too tight. Phil Surgen (crew chief) and his whole Kubota team got it turning better, and pit stops were incredible again. Our guys were rock stars on pit road.

“At the end of the day, I know we didn’t score a ton of stage points. We put ourselves in position at the end and just keep executing.”

Though Chastain fell short of his third victory this season, he improved to 19 points above the cutline ahead of the final race in the Round of 8.

Larson, who is eliminated from the Playoffs, won the race, meaning three spots remain in the Championship 4. A strong points day for Chastain at Martinsville should be enough for the 29-year-old to advance to Phoenix.

But Chastain is approaching the penultimate race with ease — just like he has all season.

“I’m a racer. We’re just going to race,” Chastain said. “For Trackhouse, we’re learning all this together; we’re experiencing this together. We’ve got a lot of knowledge in our shop and I’ll lean on a lot of teammates, both in the GM camp and inside our shop of how to approach it.

“I’m late all the time, so a grandfather clock might do me a little good for the rest of my life.”

Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on NBC. Alex Bowman is the defending winner while William Byron won the spring race.

Nathan Solomon serves as the managing editor of The Podium Finish. He has been part of the team since 2021 and is accredited by the National Motorsports Press Association. Solomon is a senior in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University. Contact him at

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