Clements Leaves Bristol with Black Eye
A rain delay during a NASCAR event typically breeds boredom. But the turn of events after the Lap 162 red flag, wasn’t very typical.
During a portion of the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 for the NASCAR XFINITY Series that lead to the red flag, drivers Ross Chastain and Jeremy Clements made contact. After the drivers had exited their respective cars, Clements approached Chastain to discuss the incident and subsequently put his hand on his shoulder. Chastain wasn’t in the mood to chat and proceeded to turn and punch Clements, who stated an altercation was not his intention.
“Somebody grabbed me and turned me around, and I saw red eyes and a face that wasn’t going to talk,” Chastain said. “It was a reaction on my part. I’ve never punched anybody in my life. I don’t know what I’d do if I could do it all over again. I can’t let people come up and grab me. It’s happened before in NASCAR and out of NASCAR. I felt like I had to stand my ground.’’
Clements made a brief trip to the care center to be treated and released for a swollen left eye.
“I’ve talked to him before, and it doesn’t get us anywhere,’’ Clements said. “I don’t know what to do. I try to race him clean all the time. He cuts you no slack, and sometimes we’re running for 22nd and 23rd and (he) just door slams you. It’s uncalled for.’’
The pair met with NASCAR after the event, and left shaking hands.
“I feel bad,’’ Chastain said. “We run against each other. We work together. We buy motors from them. They build our motors, so it’s not good for me to do that. We’re good and on to Richmond.’’
Clements and Chastain finished the race 17th and 31st respectively.
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