Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition, reaffirmed Tuesday that Ross Chastain did nothing wrong when he moved up into leader Kyle Busch‘s lane late in last weekend’s Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, despite Busch’s displeasure with the move.
Chastain responded to a request from teammate Kurt Busch‘s team to give Kurt the bottom and moved his car up the track in front of leader Kyle Busch on Lap 236 of 260. Kurt Busch got by his brother for the lead and went on to win the race and secure a playoff spot.
Afterward, Kyle Busch said “no question, man” when asked if Chastain intentionally blocked him to help Kurt Busch.
“He turned right in order to get dead right in front of me,” he added. “For a whole two laps, I just killed the tires trying to get turned underneath him. You can’t just change direction, and when I tried to change direction, he watched his mirror and changed direction with me. So he just stomped on the brake and air blocked. It’s pathetic.”
That’s not how NASCAR saw it. Series officials did nothing after the race. Miller said Tuesday during “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that Chastain’s actions were fine.
“I know we’ve got the thing bubbling up with Ross and all that, and everybody has heard the comments afterward,” Miller said. “You know, it wasn’t an obvious blocking job in my view.
“Ross, he was racing his own race. That’s an unfortunate situation for somebody like Ross to be in, really, with trying to stay on the lead lap and all those things, managing his race and then have those two come up on him at that point in the race. Difficult situation.
“I don’t think there’s a lot else to say about that one. I know people are questioning that. We certainly didn’t see anything other than hard racing from the tower perspective.”
After scoring his 33rd career Cup win, Kurt Busch said Chastain “is going to get a little flak” for “coming off the top rope,” but added that “no line was crossed.”
Busch said Chastain was just helping a teammate.
“Our car was really good on the bottom, and we radioed to our spotter to tell (Chastain), ‘Hey, give us the bottom, give us the bottom.’ … Kyle’s car was good up top, so it worked in our favor both ways.”