Chastain encouraged despite late fade at Dover

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Chastain encouraged despite late fade at Dover

NASCAR

Chastain encouraged despite late fade at Dover

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Ross Chastain was in control of the Duramax Drydene 400 at Dover Motor Speedway going into the final restart, but his advantage didn’t last long.

Chastain was quickly dispatched of by Chase Elliott, who cleared him in Turns 1 and 2. Elliott drove away to his first win of the season while Chastain faded to a third-place finish.

“I’m racing with champions,” Chastain said, “and I got beat.”

The race restarted for the final time with 54 laps to go. Before the caution that set up the final stretch to the finish, Chastain had been going wheel-to-wheel with Elliott lap after lap for the race lead. Chastain was deemed the leader over Elliott when the caution came out.

Chastain chose the outside lane for the final restart, which had routinely prevailed for the race leader throughout the afternoon. But Elliott was able to power by and drove away, ending any battle for the win.

Nevertheless, Monday was another strong showing for Chastain and the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing team. Although he missed out on a third win, Chastain led 86 laps and placed inside the top 10 in both stages (fourth and sixth).

“Super-proud of this effort,” Chastain said. “I thought we were a fifth-place car, and a couple guys had misfortune with the cautions coming out, and that cycled us to the lead. The pit crew was incredible today. They were just picking up spots every stop and got us the lead.”

Chastain, crew chief Phil Surgen and the team have been performing at an incredible level since the season’s third race. After putting two tough weekends at Daytona and Fontana behind them (where they finished) 40th and 29th, Chastain has two wins in the last nine races and seven top-five finishes.

In that nine-race stretch, Chastain has led 243 laps. He led 42 laps in all of 2021.

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