'It hurts to lose like that' - Chastain feels the sting of old tires at Vegas

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'It hurts to lose like that' - Chastain feels the sting of old tires at Vegas

NASCAR

'It hurts to lose like that' - Chastain feels the sting of old tires at Vegas

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Despite understanding his tire disadvantage against Joey Logano, losing the South Point 400 didn’t feel any better for Ross Chastain.

He lost the lead to Logano with three laps to go. The No. 22’s fresher tires prevailed as the Penske driver charged through the field to lock in his Championship 4 spot. Chastain, who led a race-high 86 laps, finished second.

“It hurts, right?” said Chastain. “It hurts to lose like that with just a few laps to go to fresher tires. It’s so good to be driving these Trackhouse Racing [Chevrolets] for everybody at AdventHealth, Moose Fraternity, Jockey and Worldwide Express. To keep bringing this kind of speed in the playoffs is a dream come true.”

Chastain took the lead off the race’s final caution with 16 laps to go. It was a three-wide move to the inside of Chase Briscoe and Justin Haley going into Turn 3 — a move that Briscoe’s team had anticipated over the radio before the restart but still couldn’t avoid.

“I had the same opportunity 30 laps earlier, and I didn’t take it because it just wasn’t the right time,” Chastain said of the move. “It was putting a lot of risk on the table to do it. We got the lead and did everything we could for our No. 1 Tootsies Orchid Lounge Chevy. It was all we could do.”

Logano caught Chastain with six laps to go and began trying different ways to get around the leader. For a few laps, Chastain did well blocking and using the dirty air he put in front of Logano to his advantage.

But Logano got the run with three laps to go and to Chastain’s inside going into Turn 3. Once Chastain lost the lead, he faded off Logano’s bumper.

“For our Tootsie’s Chevy, that was all we had,” said Chastain. “There was a clear difference in tires there, so we fully believed that we could hold him off and win the race on the tires we had, and Joey did a good job of getting through the field.

“At the end there, I hope I’m racing that guy for a really long time…like we’ve been saying all year, this is the arrival of Trackhouse, and I wouldn’t want to be doing it with anybody else.”

Chastain leaves Las Vegas second on the playoff grid, 18 points above the cutline.

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