Ross Chastain ousted from Talladega playoff race after Stage 1 crash

Ross Chastain ousted from Talladega playoff race after Stage 1 crash

Ross Chastain was involved in a Lap 60 crash in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, jeopardizing his hopes to advance in the NASCAR Playoffs.

Entering Turn 3 on the final lap of Stage 1, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. appeared to run out of fuel while leading the outside lane of cars. That slowed Kyle Busch, another postseason contender, who was just behind Stenhouse. As the pair slowed, Busch darted left to avoid Stenhouse and clipped Chastain’s No. 1 Chevrolet. Chastain spun into the SAFER barrier and incurred significant damage to his right-front fender and suspension, then was hit by Christopher Bell — yet another playoff contender.

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Chastain drove his Trackhouse Racing entry to the garage before being evaluated and released from the infield care center.

“I went for the gap,” Chastain told NBC Sports. “Obviously, I wish I would have lifted now, but (I’ll) study that and be better next time.”

Chastain entered Sunday’s race 12 points above the elimination line with only one race remaining in the Round of 12. Four drivers will be eliminated from postseason contention following next week’s race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course on Sunday, Oct. 8 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, NBC Sports App).

WATCH: In-car: Chastain wreck at Talladega

“Whatever we bring next week, we’ll put our best foot forward,” said Chastain, who advanced to the Championship 4 last season. “As long as I get to drive these rocket ships that Trackhouse brings me, I’m living my dream, and we’ll keep fighting.”

Chastain will be credited with a 38th-place finish, last on the leaderboard with one point scored. Bell, Busch and Stenhouse were able to continue.

This story will be updated.