LEBANON, Tenn. - After earning his first career NASCAR Cup Series pole, Trackhouse Racing and the No. 1 Chevrolet of Ross Chastain finally put together a complete race without controversy and found Victory Lane in the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway.
Chastain led 99 laps en route to his third career Cup Series win while earning a race-high 57 points in Trackhouse's home race. This didn't come easy, however, as Chastain has been on a slump since mid-May, having just one top-10 finish since the Darlington race that saw him get called out by Rick Hendrick.
"This is why every little kid out there anywhere in the world, when you get criticized, and you’re going to if you’re competitive, they will try to tear you down," Chastain said in a post-race interview. "You will start believing you can’t do it. You have to go to your people, trust in the process, read your books, trust the big man’s plan upstairs, just keep getting up and going to work."
Chastain has been under a lot of scrutiny lately as his on-track aggressiveness has gone "too far" on multiple occasions. But Nashville seemed to be the first step in the right direction of going the distance without making any on-track enemies and finishing the job.
A driver who has been on fire in recent weeks finished second, Martin Truex Jr. The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota led 50 laps and earned 51 points. Truex Jr. scored his fourth consecutive top-five finish.
"Overall good night for our Bass Pro Tracker Toyota," Truex Jr. said. "Guys are doing a great job. Just that close again. If we can keep doing this, we will be in good shape."
His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin also had a strong night as he led 81 laps and finished third.
Results from the Ally 400 are listed below.
Other Race Facts
With Ryan Blaney's DNF, Corey LaJoie is the only driver this season without a crash-related DNF, according to statistician Trey Ryan.
Blaney's 36th-place finish came after he spun during a restart from contact with Kyle Busch and hit an inside wall that didn't have a SAFER barrier.
"It's a shame, ending our night early," Blaney said. "I thought we actually, finally got decent air at the start of the second stage. I don't really know what happened. Someone checked up on the restart I guess. I kind of checked up, got hit from behind. I didn't know if they were wrecking, and I just couldn't get it straightened out.
"When I got out of the grass, I thought I was going to come back around, and that I'd be ok. Just never got back right. I don't know why there's no SAFER barrier there. That's pretty ridiculous, honestly. Hardest hit I've ever had in my life. Happy to be all right, but it sucks for the Pennzoil Ford Mustang. Stinks to go home early."
AJ Allmendinger and Kaulig Racing are building some momentum heading into Chicago, picking up back-to-back top 10s for the first time this season.
“We had a really good day," Allmendinger said. "Our car was really balanced all day; we didn’t have to make adjustments. We just couldn’t get the track positions and we lost spots on pit road and had to make up for it. At the end of the day, that probably cost up three or four spots overall.
"I’m proud of the team. We are making a lot of progress, we had a lot of speed all weekend. I’m looking forward to going to a street course here to hopefully make up some more ground.”
Ross Chastain's win was his first since April 2022 at Talladega, despite being in the top 10 in points every week since that day.
The 2023 GRID Ranking is the seventh year of the world's premier motorsport ranking and was initially released on Sunday, April 2.
Drivers in the seven racing series participating in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) have earned GRID Ratings, which helped determine their seeding during Week 12 of the 2023 GRID Ranking.
MOST RECENT FINISH
Martin Truex Jr.
Week 13 of the GRID Ranking:
For the first time, the NASCAR Cup Series will head to the Chicago Street Course for the Grant Park 220 on Sunday, July 2. Coverage begins on NBC at 5:30 p.m. ET.
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