Denny Hamlin returned to Ross Chastain on Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
Hamlin had been destroyed twice by Chastain since early June. After an incident in Atlanta earlier this month, Hamlin said he had “reached (his) peak” with Chastain.
Hamlin won a recovery mode late in Sunday’s race.
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Hamlin and Chastain start together on the front row with 18 laps to go. Hamlin was inside and Chastain outside.
As the peloton passed through Turn 1, Hamlin and Chastain were side by side. Hamlin moved Chastain onto the track. Chastain came out of the groove and drifted into the wall and was hit by Kevin Harvick’s car, ending Chastain’s run.
“I think it’s something that’s been due to me for a few months now,” Chastain told NBC’s Parker Kligerman.
When asked if he felt the score was settled, Chastain replied, “I don’t know.”
Hamlin discussed the issue with NBC’s Marty Snider after the race.
When asked if it was a reward, Hamlin replied, “What would you like me to do? What do you want me to do? I took a stand on him, and he just ran out of track of race.
When asked if it’s over now with Chastain, Hamlin said, “We’re going to keep running hard until we get these guys’ respect. We’ve been destroyed four times, twice in the lead in the last 10 months and I’m at the end.
Chastain destroyed Hamlin at World Wide Technology Raceway. At one point Hamlin was ahead of Chastain and slowed down considerably during the event. Eventually, NASCAR told Hamlin to stop the game. Chastain later apologized, but Hamlin was frustrated with Chastain.
In Atlanta, a contact from Chastain turned Hamlin.
But Hamlin’s day didn’t end well. Despite crossing the finish line first, NASCAR robbed Hamlin of the win about two hours later when his car failed post-race inspection. Teammate Kyle Busch’s car also failed post-race inspection, giving Chase Elliott the win.
—NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 24, 2022