DOVER, Del. — After a win last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Ross Chastain continued his strong 2022 season with a third-place finish at Dover Motor Speedway.
“Super strong day for our Trackhouse team,” Chastain said after the DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by RelaDyne. “We were always grip-limited, just too tight to fire off on those late restarts. We’re racing with champions and I just got beat.”
Chastain qualified seventh and fell to 11th by the red flag for rain on Lap 79. When the race resumed Monday afternoon, he drove up to fourth for seven stage points.
He spent most of Monday afternoon in the top 10, even leading 86 laps. He earned five more stage points with a sixth-place finish in Stage 2.
On the final restart with 52 laps to go, Chastain got passed for the lead by race winner Chase Elliott. Chastain slipped to third and made contact with Martin Truex Jr. on the final lap, sending him spinning.
Instead of a top five, Truex Jr. finished 12th. The two talked on pit road afterward.
“We were talking about where we were going to go fishing next week,” Chastain joked. “Just racing hard, I crowded him up and should have left more of a lane.”
Chastain has finished top five in seven of 11 races this season and has an average finish of 12.5. He believes his recent success can be attribiuted to patience he’s developed over his NASCAR career.
“Two years ago, I did not win either of those races, because I made aggressive moves,” Chastain said, referring to his wins earlier in the season. “It’s all about being there at the end. There were opportunities in both of those races to take ourselves out and it didn’t happen.”
Next up for Chastain is Darlington Raceway and the Goodyear 400 on Sunday, May 8. He finished 3rd there in last year’s Southern 500.
“Winning in the Cup Series, I had no idea now when my last one will be and a month ago, I didn’t know if I would ever win,” Chastain said. “The grind doesn’t stop with two wins.”