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Chastain’s 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season got off to a rough beginning, with a wreck and 40th-place finish at Daytona and a 29th-place finish the following week at Fontana, Calif.
But he and his No. 1 Chevrolet team have rebounded in strong fashion – with three straight podium finishes including runner-up efforts last week at Phoenix and Sunday at Atlanta.
Chastain was originally credited with a third-place finish Sunday but was awarded second when Christopher Bell was ruled to have passed Chastain on the last lap by going below the red line.
It was by no means an easy race Sunday, either, as Chastain blew a tire while leading the race at one point and fell two laps down.
“This Gen 7 car to take a lick like that, blow a tire out of nowhere and leading, just cruising, blow a right rear, slam the wall. Thought our day was over,” he said. “Our guys went underneath the car, got the toe closer, and we got the balance back where I could drive it.
“The Chevy was fast. It was so fast. I mean, we were fighting with William (Byron) there at the beginning. It’s so cool to race with, again, buddies. I’m getting to race with my – I only have a few, but the last few weeks I’ve been able to race with my buddies.”
With this third consecutive finish of third or higher, Chastain now sits 10th in the series standings in his first season with Trackhouse.
His teammate Daniel Suarez – who gave him a big push late in the race – is 13th following his fourth-place showing on Sunday.
“I can’t thank everyone at Trackhouse, everybody that’s been on this car, and (team co-owner) Justin Marks and his family for what they do for me,” Chastain said. “And Daniel Suárez – what a teammate to push me there at the end.”
Suarez, who led twice for 13 laps in the race, called his race “up and down.” He, too, got caught up in two on-track incidents in the final stage and still rallied for a top-five finish.
“Our No. 99 Chevrolet was fast. We did a good job on pit road. We had fast pit stops,” he said. “When we have a fast Chevrolet Camaro, it makes things easier.
“Everyone at Trackhouse Racing has been working very, very hard to build cars like this. We just have to keep it up. We have a few trophies coming in the near future.”