Chastain takes advantage of Jones error to win NASCAR’s Talledega thriller

Ross Chastain takes NASCAR win at Talledega after a frantic lap last duel between leaders Erik Jones and Kyle Larson


Racing for the Chip Ganassi Racing Team, Ross Chastain kept his cool during a frantic last lap to claim victory at NASCAR‘s Gieco 500 held at the Talladega Superspeedway.

The win marked Chastian’s second win this year and moves the Chevrolet driver into second in the standings after a crazy race that saw leaders Erik Jones and Kyle Larson throw away their chances at winning by battling each other.

How Chastian was able to previal

While Chastian drove a hard and aggressive race, the onus was on Jones to bring home team Richard Petty’s first win in the series since 2014. Jones came under increasing pressure from Hendrick Motorsport’s Kyle Larson, with Larson moving towards the outside of the oval in order to get the jump on Jones.

Sensing the move by Larson, Jones decided to follow suit and cover the attack from Larson, which in turn opened the door for Chastian to make his move. The Chip Ganassi driver kept his cool overtaking both Larson and Jones to claim his second win in NASCAR.

Larson would eventually end up fourth with Jones dropping down to sixth with Austin Dillion and Kyle Busch leapfrogging the pair during the ensuing melee.

“I’m always the one going to the top too early and making the mistake,” Chastian said to Fox Sports at the end of the race.

Brad Keselowski (6) races NASCAR Cup Series driver Ross Chastain (1) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Greg Biffle (44) during the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

“There at the end it was like eight to go, and I was like ‘I’m not going up there again … I’ll just ride on the bottom. I’m not gonna lose the race for us.’ They kept going up, and they just kept moving out of the way!”

Jones rues decision

Jones was left wondering what might have been, with the Richard Petty driver regretting his decision to cover off Larson as the field made its way around the final corner. The decision ultimately dropped Jones down to sixth after what looked like an assured win.

“Looking back, I wish we would have stayed on the bottom and let the No.1 push me,” Jones told Fox Sports.

“I didn’t realize they were coming with that much speed. Try to defend on the No.5, you’re too far ahead already. Obviously a defense on the No.5 kind of gives the door to the No.1.

Christopher Bell (20) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr (19) lead the field to start the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

“It is what it is. You’re trying to just win the race. You can only see so much of what’s going on from the seat, and you’re trying to make the best decision you can in the last 1500 feet.”

Larson happy with final result

Defending champion Larson was content with a top-five finish at Talladega with the American generally struggling on superspeedway circuits. His fourth place marked the first-ever time he finished in the top five at either Talledega or Daytona.

“I feel like I did a near-perfect job for me at a superspeedway until the last lap there,” Larson told Speedway Digest after the race.

“I think just kinda faked going high, then went back low. I had that run. Ross helped me with that run. It kinda baited me into going to the outside. A bit of inexperience probably there.

Kyle Larson (5) leads NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron (24) during the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

“But really proud of my team. We did a great job executing all race long. The car was great. I felt like we could push people great. I felt like we could receive pushes well. Like I said really proud of them.”

The results from the Talledega 500 leave Chastian in second place in the standings behind William Byron, who finished 15th. With Talledega in the bag, the series now moves to Dover Motorspeedway in a week’s time.

John Smith
John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
- Advertisment -


Alex Bowman celebrates victory at the 2024 Chicago Street Race | NASCAR

How rain strategy helped Alex Bowman end his drought in Chicago

Alex Bowman and his job with Hendrick Motorsports was never really in question as his contract runs through the...
Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Driver Ratings — 2024 British GP

Lewis Hamilton finally ended his long wait for a race victory at the Formula 1 2024 British GP as...
George Russell leads the field into Turn 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Winners and Losers from the British GP

Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious in one of the most memorable races in recent Formula 1 history, which begs the...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton masterclass proves he can take fight to Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton basked in the glory of his long-awaited victory at the British Grand Prix, celebrating in front of...
Max Verstappen looks on at the 2024 Austrian GP | Chris Graythen / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen rues ‘poor’ British GP as Red Bull battle rare issue

Max Verstappen conceded it was a "poor afternoon" for Red Bull at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix...
Lando Norris with engineers at 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

Are McLaren becoming ‘new Ferrari’ after another strategy blunder?

Lando Norris' media appearances after the British GP were a genuinely tough watch, with reporters seemingly counselling the 24-year-old...
Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes Max Verstappen on the podium after the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lewis Hamilton: British GP win more crucial to Mercedes than Russell victory

Lewis Hamilton explained why he felt his victory at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix on Sunday was...
Carlos Sainz at the 2024 Austrian GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

F1 2024 British GP – Fastest Lap

Carlos Sainz snatched the fastest lap at the 2024 British GP at the final opportunity as an all-time classic...
Lando Norris during 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

F1 Standings after 2024 British Grand Prix

An emotional 2024 British Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton take a record-breaking win at Silverstone, outsmarting Lando Norris and...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 British GP: Driver of the Day

There is a reason why the British Grand Prix remains the hottest attraction on the Formula 1 calendar and...
- Advertisment -