Martin Truex Jr. explains how Ross Chastain upset him at Dover

Martin Truex Jr.
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images
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DARLINGTON, S.C. — Martin Truex Jr. said he thought it was “uncalled for” how Ross Chastain raced him late in last week’s event at Dover Motor Speedway.

They dueled for third place toward the end of the 400-lap Cup race. On the final lap, Chastain blocked Truex. That caused Truex to hit the wall.

Truex talked to Chastain after the race on pit road. Saturday, Truex discussed publicly for the first time his incident with Chastain and the conversation they had after the race.

As for what happened on the last lap, Truex said:

“He came up. I had a run to the outside. His spotter told him I was there, and he just came up like I wasn’t there. Caused me to lift and get into the marbles, ultimately crash and lost, whatever, six spots, seven spots, eight spots. 

“I don’t really know the reason. He run me all over the racetrack all day. I get it. He’s air blocking. These cars are terrible in dirty air. He’s doing what he has to do. I’m talking three lanes up the racetrack all over, like, literally just completely forgetting about trying to make lap time. The guys in front of us are driving away and he’s screwing around with me for (third) place. 

“It’s the Cup Series. We don’t typically race like that. I just thought it was kind of uncalled for. … I wasn’t mad about the rest of it. It’s just it’s ridiculous, but it is what it is. Some guys will do it. The deal at the end fo the race, just blatantly running me out of racetrack, that’s what I was mad about.

And the message when they talked on pit road after the race?

“I asked him why he did it,” Truex said. “I’m not sure he really knows why he did it, but it’s not going to happen again.”

Chastain admitted Friday that he made a mistake in how he raced Truex late in the race but not on the last lap.

“I’d say the mistake was 30 laps before (the finish), not just letting him go and hoping he got by Ricky (Stenhouse Jr., running second) and then I could get by Ricky, too,” Chastain said.

As for the block on the last lap?

“The last lap is the last lap,” Chastain said. “I’m going to race him as hard as I possibly can.”

Told of Chastain’s comments from Friday, Truex said: “He’s kind of right. He’s just slowing us both down. The leaders are driving away. He’s not worried about hitting his marks. He’s giving up two or three tenths a lap worried about me, trying to block and it doesn’t make any sense. For sure, I agree.”

Truex also said: “I don’t race him like that. I don’t race anybody like that. I don’t expect to have to deal with those types of things.”