Justin Allgaier says he and Ross Chastain have had a “rocky relationship,” and Saturday was not the first time the two have made contact.
On Lap 15 of the Zippo 200 NASCAR Xfinity race at Watkins Glen, Chastain spun Allgaier coming out of the inner loop. Allgaier bounced off the tire barrier and suffered damage to the right side of his Chevrolet.
Allgaier then returned the favor on Lap 21 when he spent Chastain for a ride off Turn 5. But Chastain wasn’t as fortunate as his Chevrolet was caught and destroyed by the tire barriers. Chastain did not finish the race.
“It’s better if I keep my opinions to myself,” said Chastain to NBCSN after being released from the infield care center. “We’ll handle it.”
NASCAR.com quoted Chastain as also saying, “You don’t expect to get wrecked like that at a NASCAR national series event. Just racing hard and mistakes on all sides, but I’m glad that my nine-point safety harness did its job because I hit the wall a ton.”
Allgaier rebounded to lead 13 laps and finish fourth. His version of events was that Chastain knew what he was doing during their initial contact and that Chastain had hit him in the door going down the backstretch, making contact three more times before finally spinning him.
“He took advantage in the Bus Stop and wrecked me on purpose, and that was disappointing,” said Allgaier, who admitted at some point a driver gets tired of being run into. “I had every intention of probably turning him around; I didn’t want to put him in the fence, so my apologies to Johnny Davis and that 4 team — I had no intention of wrecking their car, but I wanted to make sure I got the point across that that’s not the first time that he’s run into me and hurt our day.
“It’s just frustrating when people race you like that week in and week out, so it’s just a shame that it had to end that way.”
Two previous incidents Allgaier mentioned were Daytona when he said Chastain cranked a left while Allgaier was inside him; and then Las Vegas last year when he felt Chastain put him in the wall while battling for the lead.
Allgaier admitted the two were unlikely to agree on what took place in Watkins Glen. He also told reporters in the post-race bullpen that he felt he “finished it” Saturday.