After Saturday night’s Xfinity Series race a Iowa Speedway, NBCSN’s cameras caught Roush Fenway Racing driver Ryan Reed marching down pit road toward Ross Chastain. Reed shoved Chastain from behind and began talking while pointing angrily.
Following their exchange Chastain told NBCSN: “I’d like to know what he said, he was talking to me but I couldn’t hear him because his helmet was on.”
Reed, in a Tuesday interview with “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, explained he was upset after Chastain hit his left rear on a green-white-checkered attempt in Turn 1 and sent him up the track and into the wall, further damaging Reed’s car.
Reed, who finished 19th, shared why he arrived on the scene with his helmet still on.
“You probably have five to 10 items you’re clipped in (the cockpit) with,” Reed said. “Really, you’re ripping your seatbelts off, your air hoses … for me, I just parked it, ripped all my stuff off, got out of there as fast as I could and ran up there to him and wanted to talk about it. I wasn’t thinking about it.”
The situation mirrored one from the Sprint Cup’s spring race at Bristol in 2006. Matt Kenseth had spun Jeff Gordon and after the race, Gordon quickly emerged from his car, helmet still on, and shoved Kenseth.
“You’re not walking up there with the intention of fist fighting and obviously with the way I approached Ross, it was in a confrontational manner,” Reed said. “We’re not MMA fighters. We’re not walking up there, we’re not going to shake hands or bump fists and start throwing down.
“You’re not thinking about … hat’s the proper way to approach this, I guess. You’re just trying to get up there and confront the guy.”
Reed said he saw plenty of comments on Twitter saying, “If you’re going to do it, take your helmet off first.”
“But honestly, you’re not thinking about that,” Reed said. “If I had to do it all over again, taking the helmet off wouldn’t be the priority, it would be calming down first and going up to him and talking to him a little more like an adult instead of being irate about it.”