Ross Chastain defended his decision to give his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Kurt Busch the bottom lane thereby blocking Kyle Busch’s run.
The Busch brothers were fighting for the lead in the Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kurt overtook Kyle with 23 laps to go but needed a helping hand from his teammate. Chastain decided to leave the bottom lane for the chasing Kurt which blocked Kyle’s path and affected his momentum.
Defending his decision to do so, Chastain said:
“Kurt asked for the bottom, so I gave him that lane. I was racing to stay on the lead lap. I’m very aware of what’s going on on the track around me. Kurt asked for the bottom, and I gave it to him.”
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Kyle was angry at the decision and hit out at Chastain for the move.
“He turned dead right in order to get right in front of me,” Busch said of Chastain slowing him intentionally.
As for Chastain, he finished 21st in the race with a lap down. He addressed Kyle’s frustration on not winning the race and told that the Joe Gibbs Racing driver could talk to him.
“He lost the race; he’s going to be mad,” Chastain said. “I’m mad I finished (21st) a lap down with a teammate winning. That’s not what I want either. … He wanted to win, and I wanted to run better.”