Ross Chastain waves to fans as he walks onstage during driver intros prior to the 2023 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas
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Ross Chastain Came in Like a "Wrecking Ball" and Earned Himself a New Nickname at Richmond

Whenever something goes wrong for another NASCAR driver during a Cup Series race, Ross Chastain always seems to bear the brunt of the responsibility, whether it's actually his fault or not. After this past Sunday's Cup race at Richmond Raceway, the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet for Trackhouse Racing found himself in the scapegoat role once again, this time with Joe Gibbs Racing driver Christopher Bell pointing the finger.

It was Bell who, on a restart with 20 laps to go in the Toyota Owners 400, collided with the left-rear of William Byron, effectively spinning out the Hendrick Motorsports driver and ending his day on the track. But, as Bell saw it in the immediate aftermath, it was Chastain who was liable for the late-race run-in.

"The wrecking ball came in and made us three-wide at the last second, and there wasn't enough room to be three-wide," Bell said.

The "wrecking ball" that Bell referenced was, of course, Ross Chastain himself, and as Bell went on to elaborate, Chastain's alleged antics were just par for the course for the former watermelon farmer from Alva, Florida.

"I mean, he didn't do anything wrong," continued Bell, who finished fourth in the race. "That's just his M.O. I feel bad for the 24 because he probably didn't get the memo that we were going three-wide, because I barely got the memo that we were three-wide. And you know, that's just the way it always is."

In his own post-race interview, Chastain, who placed third at Richmond, defended himself agains Bell's accusations.

"He can say what he wants," Chastain said. "Like other guys, he walks right by me and doesn't say anything to me. I don't think I touched anybody. I was just down there on my line."

"I mean, if he's gonna call me a wrecking ball, I just don't understand."

Now, Bell later took to Twitter and apologized to Byron for actually being the one who caused the collision. But, as fans and pundits have already pointed out, he also probably owes Chastain an apology for wrongly throwing him under the bus. Will Christopher actually say he's sorry to Ross for his "wrecking ball" comments? I'll guess we'll just have to wait and find out. Something tells me he may privately reach out to Ross with something akin to a brief "my bad," but he likely won't make it a big public deal. I also wouldn't be completely surprised if he didn't apologize at all, and just let the animosity between him and Ross sort of awkwardly linger. It definitely wouldn't be the right move, but it makes sense given the current climate in the Cup Series: for the past year or so, Ross Chastain has been that guy who other drivers just love to hate.

MORE: Ross Chastain's Watermelon Smash at COTA Marked a Pivotal Moment in the NASCAR Driver's Career