Monday Morning Pit-Stop: Chastain Takes Shortcut, Reddick Upsets Childress, Harvick Out For Blood

You know when you’re late to work and stuck in traffic on the interstate, so you just throw your hands up, hit the exit ramp and take backroads?

Now imagine you’re a professional race car driver in a race and it’s the last lap and instead of following the track you take a shortcut and hope that nobody notices.

Kudos to you, Ross Chastain. We respect the effort, but come on … that was NEVER going to work!

“Hats off to Ross for trying to do that, but really glad it didn’t end up working out because I’d have been pretty pissed off,” Tyler Reddick said after passing Chastain and eventually winning Sunday’s Brickyard roadie.

“If you get bottled up, what do you do? Take the access road … I couldn’t believe he got ahead of me.”

Neither could we, Tyler!

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – JULY 31: Tyler Reddick, driver of the #8 3CHI Chevrolet, poses with the RCR staff at the yard of bricks after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Chase Elliott spins: “F–k me, man.”

Reddick held off a sneaky Chastain in the closing laps Sunday to win his second race of the season.

And, in typical road course fashion, things went from tame to crazy to flat out weird over the final few laps.

Chase Elliott got the crazy-ball rolling when he got taken out by teammate William Byron as he was going for the lead on a late restart. Billy the Kid certainly didn’t mean to get into Chase, but everyone got jammed up going into the first turn and Clyde’s back bumper fell victim.

“F–k me, man … what a f—–g day,” a cheery Chase said after the spin.

Why did NASCAR wait so long to penalize Chastain?

That was peanuts compared to the next restart, though.

OK, Ross. Be honest with us … what in the world were you thinking?

“Just trying not to be in the carnage there in Turn 1,” said Chastain, who bailed out on the final restart, took the access road to cut the course, and then barreled back onto the track right next to Reddick.

“I thought we were four-wide, and couldn’t go any farther right, and decided to take the NASCAR access lane out there.”

Yeah, no. I can’t buy that. Just because things don’t look great in Turn 1 doesn’t mean you can just use the shortcut. Appreciate the ambition, Ross, but it doesn’t pass the smell test!

NASCAR, by the way, eventually penalized Chastain and he officially finished 27th. I say eventually because, let’s be honest, it should never take that long to make a ruling like that? What if Chastain wrecked Reddick on the way to the checkers?

What if Reddick never got back around Chastain and, while racing him, got passed by Austin Cindric, who would’ve then been declared the winner in this scenario?

It was an easy call to and one NASCAR should’ve made sooner.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – JULY 31: Ross Chastain, driver of the #1 Worldwide Express Chevrolet, spins in front of Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 GEARWRENCH Ford, after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Kevin Harvick out for blood, and Bowman

Speaking of easy calls …

Kevin Harvick, which one of these fellas do you wanna take out first?!

“Tell me all five of them so I can wreck all five of them,” Harvick said of the radio.

Okeedokee!

Harvick’s miserable season continued at Indy, where he was involved in yet another early wreck, and then a late wreck, and fell even further below the playoff cutline.

Reading the tea leaves, it appeared Alex Bowman was involved in both of Harvick’s wrecks, and may have be the unlucky soul who got the brunt of his anger late in the race.

“Got crashed because somebody got told wrong about who crashed them early in the race. You could say things are going pretty well,” Bowman said on Instagram after his day ended early.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – JULY 31: Tyler Reddick, driver of the #8 3CHI Chevrolet, celebrates with RCR team owner Richard Childress and his crew chief Randall Burnett at the yard of bricks after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Richard Childress takes issue with Tyler Reddick’s departure

Before we head out the door, let’s stick with Harvick.

Richard Childress was asked about Reddick leaving for 23XI Racing after next season after Reddick’s win at Indy, and, well … it’s clear the boss ain’t happy!

“Kevin and I sat down when he was leaving and made our joint press conference,” Childress told Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass. “This didn’t happen like this.”

Oof.

For those who need a refresher, here’s the statement RCR put out after Reddick announced he was leaving last month.

“We’re proud of the success Tyler Reddick has found at Richard Childress Racing. We’re focused on winning a championship in 2022 and 2023, although timing of this announcement could not be any worse.”

Perfection.

OK, off to Michigan!

Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.

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