Chastain at Road America in 2017
|Born||December 4, 1992|
|Achievements||2011 World Series of Asphalt Champion|
|Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career|
|35 races run over 2 years|
|Car no., team||No. 15 (Premium Motorsports)|
|Best finish||54th (2017)|
|First race||2017 AAA 400 Drive for Autism (Dover)|
|Last race||2018 Can-Am 500 (Phoenix)|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series career|
|138 races run over 5 years|
|Car no., team||No. 4 (JD Motorsports)|
No. 42 (Chip Ganassi Racing)
|Best finish||13th (2017)|
|First race||2014 History 300 (Charlotte)|
|Last race||2018 Whelen Trusted to Perform 200 (Phoenix)|
|First win||2018 DC Solar 300 (Las Vegas)|
|NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career|
|58 races run over 7 years|
|Truck no., team||No. 50 (Beaver Motorsports)|
No. 15 (Premium Motorsports)
No. 38 (Niece Motorsports)
|Best finish||17th (2012)|
|First race||2011 AAA Insurance 200 (IRP)|
|Last race||2018 JAG Metals 350 (Texas)|
|Statistics current as of November 11, 2018.|
Ross Chastain (born December 4, 1992) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 4 Chevrolet Camaro for JD Motorsports and the No. 42 Camaro for Chip Ganassi Racing, part-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, driving the Nos. 7 and 15 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1s for Premium Motorsports, and part-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, driving the No. 50 Chevrolet Silverado for Beaver Motorsports, the No. 15 Silverado for Premium Motorsports, and the No. 38 Silverado for Niece Motorsports.
Chastain's first victory in NASCAR competition came in the 2018 DC Solar 300, driving for CGR and sweeping all three race stages.
Chastain started racing at the age of twelve, his interest piqued by his father's hobby racing and other kids his age racing. His home track was Punta Gorda Speedway in Punta Gorda, Florida, at the age of twelve, competing in both late model and Fastruck Series events.Even those races, at tracks like Citrus County Speedway, Auburndale Speedway and DeSoto Speedway, were run on a tight budget, a theme that would carry on to much of Chastain's career in the higher ranks of NASCAR. His short track career saw Chastain scoring over fifty wins in feature events, including the 2011 World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway, winning three of eight events in the series.
He made his debut in NASCAR national touring series competition in the Camping World Truck Series in 2011, driving the No. 66 Chevrolet for Turn One Racing at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, finishing 10th in his inaugural event. Chastain competed in four additional events in the 2011 season, with the 10th being his best finish, in preparation for a full season in the Camping World Truck Series in 2012, competing for Rookie of the Year honors with SS-Green Light Racing. Driving the No. 08 truck sponsored by the National Watermelon Association and National Watermelon Promotion Board, he scored a career-best finish of seventh in the second race of the season at Martinsville Speedway. He bested his 7th-place finish with a 3rd-place finish at Bristol in August.
In January 2013, it was announced that Chastain would drive in 15 Camping World Truck Series races in 2013 for Brad Keselowski Racing. At Iowa Speedway in September, Chastain won his first career Truck Series pole for the Fan Appreciation 200; he led the most laps in the race, finishing second to James Buescher as the race underwent a green-white-checkered finish. Chastain also came close to the win at the penultimate race at Phoenix, finishing second to Erik Jones after leading over 60 laps.
Leaving BKR after the 2013 season, Chastain moved to RBR Enterprises for a part-time schedule in 2014. Comments before and after the Martinsville race, as well as racing actions during the race, led the team to fire Chastain from the ride. In May, he announced he would make his debut in the Nationwide Series (now Xfinity Series) at Charlotte Motor Speedway, driving the No. 55 for Viva Motorsports. Chastain later drove for Hattori Racing Enterprises at Michigan International Speedway, replacing Johnny Sauter. If that opportunity did not arise, Chastain was set to replace another driver that weekend, John Wes Townley in the No. 5 Wauters Motorsports truck at Gateway Motorsports Park. In the race with HRE, Chastain finished twelfth, which was to that point the team's best finish in NASCAR competition. The finish eventually turned into more sporadic appearances with HRE throughout the rest of the season. Chastain also joined the team for a part-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series East effort that year.
Chastain’s 2017 Xfinity season was the best of his career, scoring a top five at Iowa and two top tens as well as finishing 13th in points, highest of the non-playoff drivers. He achieved this after a tight points battle with J.J. Yeley for the spot in the last four races of the season. In the second half of the season, Chastain rarely finished outside the top twenty and mainly finished in the mid-teens.
The season was marred by two fights with fellow Xfinity drivers, one with Jeremy Clements at Bristol after Clements confronted him and one with Brendan Gaughan at Texas after heated on-track competition. Chastain, Gaughan and crew members from both teams brawled behind Victory Lane at the conclusion of the night race. A crew member from JD Motorsports teammate Garrett Smithley was taken to the hospital with a head injury after the fight. Chastain blamed the confrontation on Gaughan, saying the Richard Childress Racing driver attacked him, but also acknowledged that he races hard and does not play favorites. Gaughan initially avoided discussing the incident with reporters but later boasted about the incident on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and said that he received several text messages from fellow drivers who were happy about the incident. He did admit that he could've handled the situation later but didn't really care about it. That opinion was likely influenced by the fact that 2017 was Gaughan's final Xfinity season, as any retaliation would have to happen within the next two races.
In 2017, Chastain joined Premium Motorsports' No. 15 car for his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut in the AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover, an opportunity he initially resisted after being informed of the opportunity by Xfinity team owner Johnny Davis. he finished 20th. Chastain heard from various sources that his driving style made multiple drivers mad on-track, but Chastain says it doesn't bother him. He also drove the No. 15 at the fall Dover race, finishing 38th. Chastain was originally on the entry list to drive the No. 7 car, the second car for Premium Motorsports, at the Cup series season finale at Homestead, but the team withdrew.
In late September 2017, Chastain announced that he would return to JD Motorsports for a fourth year, running the entire 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, as well as hinting at another part-time Cup schedule with Premium Motorsports. He started off the Xfinity season with a top-ten at Daytona International Speedway, and ran his first Cup race of 2018 the week after at Atlanta Motor Speedway. By the Easter off weekend, Chastain had expanded his Cup schedule, which had included every race since Atlanta, to all of the race weekends where the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series run at the same track. Chastain also returned to the truck series at Iowa on an off week for the Cup Series and a companion race with the Xfinity Series, driving the No. 50 truck for Beaver Motorsports. He continued to run most of the Cup schedule, running the entirety of the summer schedule save for the Sonoma Raceway event, where Justin Marks drove. Chastain tied his career-best finish Xfinity Series finish at Iowa Speedway, avioding last-lap chaos to bring home another fourth-place finish. At the Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio, Chastain and Joey Gase made contact multiple times on the final lap, eventually leading Gase to spin off track. On pit road after the race, Gase swerved his car toward Chastain with spectators and crew members in the vicinity. The two later had a shouting match and Gase was tackled by one of Chastain's crew members. After a trip to the NASCAR hauler, Gase called Chastain a "golden boy" and threatened to derail Chastain's playoff hopes. Chastain hopped in the Premium Motorsports No. 15 truck for the World of Westgate 200 and finished seventh, Premium's best-ever finish across all three NASCAR national series.
On the strength of a summer performance that saw him hold down the final Xfinity Series playoff spot, Chastain and Chip Ganassi Racing announced a three-race agreement for Chastain to pilot the organization's No. 42 entry for races at Darlington Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Richmond Raceway. The races came at the expense of John Hunter Nemechek, who could not sell sponsorship for the races. DC Solar was announced as a backer for Chastain's effort. Chastain had previously met the CEO of DC Solar at Auto Club Speedway in 2018, and plans materialized from there. For the first race of the trio, Chastain held top-ten spots in both practices, finishing second in first practice. He later claimed the pole over Christopher Bell, and during the race won the first two stages. During the third stage, Chastain was battling for the race lead with Kevin Harvick with thirty-five laps to go. Through turns one and two of the traditionally one-groove Darlington track, the lapped car of Chad Finchum took the top-groove racing lane, leaving Harvick and Chastain jostling for positions in the bottom lanes. After clearing Finchum, Harvick slid up into Chastain who then slid up into the wall. On the backstretch, Chastain hooked Harvick's machine into the outside wall, ending Harvick's day. Harvick later parked in Chastain's pit stall before giving a heated post-race interview calling Chastain "inexperienced" and saying that Chastain will "never get to drive many of them [events in top-tier cars] again. Chip Ganassi then responded on Twitter, defending Chastain's performance and stating that he "helped himself to many future opportunities"." Chastain, for his part, finished 25th after repairs and called running up front "cool" and also saying "I don't care what Harvick says."
Chastain in a TV interview after the race
After running a race with JD Motorsports at Indianapolis, Chastain returned to CGR for the DC Solar 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He once again performed well throughout the weekend, securing the second-fastest time in final practice and the fifth starting spot for the race. Once again the class of the field, Chastain led all but twenty of the 200 laps in the race and prevailed over Justin Allgaier for the victory, his first in over 200 starts in NASCAR. True to his roots, Chastain smashed a watermelon on the track as a final victory celebration. In a post-race media conference, he admitted to crying a bit in the closing laps of the race due to the gravity of the win. With the win, a playoff birth was wrapped up, the first of his career. Chastain also revealed that he was not being paid to drive the car, something that he claimed was reason for ridicule within the sport. Chastain fell out of the playoffs after the opening round after Matt Tifft made a late-race rally at Dover, claiming the final spot by three points.
On October 6, 2018, it was reported that Chastain had agreed to drive the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season with Premium Motorsports, and a deal with Chip Ganassi Racing for more Xfinity Series races was likely. On November 9, 2018, Chastain and CGR announced a full season in the No. 42 Xfinity Series car for 2019.
A native of Alva, Florida, Chastain was a watermelon farmer on his family's farm until he turned thirteen. He is a graduate of Riverdale High School in Fort Myers. He attended Florida Gulf Coast University for a semester before he began racing in the Truck Series.
While Chastain's father did race a bit as a hobby, Ross is the first generation of his family to race competitively. Ross started racing at age twelve after seeing his father hobby race and seeing other kids his age race.
Motorsports career results
(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)
Monster Energy Cup Series
|Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series results|
Camping World Truck Series
K&N Pro Series East
|NASCAR K&N Pro Series East results|
|2014||Hattori Racing Enterprises||1||Toyota||NSM||DAY||BRI||GRE||RCH||IOW||BGS||FFL||LGY||NHA||COL
* Season still in progress
1 not eligible for series points
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- "Local driver competing in NASCAR truck series". Ft. Myers, FL: NBC-2 WBBH. July 29, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Colleran, Brian (July 21, 2011). "Fort Myers' Chastain to make NASCAR debut". Ft. Myers, FL: WZVN-HD. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Allaway, Phil. "Ross Chastain: Beyond the Watermelon". Frontstretch.com. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
- "Young driver ready for next step". The News-Press, Fort Myers, FL. August 6, 2011, page C1
- "SS Green Light Racing Set to Grow with Ross Chastain". SS-Green Light Racing. January 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- "Chastain joins SS Green Light Racing for 2012". NASCAR. February 3, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Carter, Chip (March 7, 2012). "NASCAR driver hauls the fruit for watermelon group". Highlands Today. Tampa, FL: The Tampa Tribune. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
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- "Chastain claims first pole in Truck Series at Iowa". Fox Sports. September 7, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
- "Buescher edges Chastain to win NASCAR Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. September 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
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- "Driver Ross Chastain 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series Results - Racing-Reference.info". racing-reference.info. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
- "Chastain, Clements called to hauler after altercation". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
- "Ross Chastain gives his side of Brendan Gaughan tangle, says he was hit in back of head". NASCAR Talk. 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
- "Brendan Gaughan, Ross Chastain tussle after XFINITY race NASCAR.com". NASCAR. 2017-11-05. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
- "Brendan Gaughan on issue with Ross Chastain: 'I finally just had enough'". NASCAR Talk. 2017-11-05. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
- "Breaking News: Chastain Debuts in Cup Series with Boost from Delaware Office of Highway Safety". JD Motorsports. May 26, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
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- Utter, Jim (June 4, 2017). ""It was a dream come true" as Ross Chastain finishes 20th in Cup debut". Motorsport. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
- Ryan, Nate. "Podcast: Ross Chastain on the 'evil business' of competing for sponsors". NASCAR on NBC. NBC Sports. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
- "2017 Apache Warrior 400". Racing-Reference. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
- Whisler, Caleb (2017-09-30). "Chastain to run full-time XFINITY, part time Cup in 2018". Kickin' The Tires. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
- Knight, Chris. "Ross Chastain set to return to JD Motorsports in 2018". Catchfence. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
- "Alva's Ross Chastain finishes 9th in season opener at Daytona". Lee Herald. 2018-02-17. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
- Catanzareti, Zach (2018-04-04). "Beyond the Cockpit: Ross Chastain Building Strength for Busy Cup Schedule". www.frontstretch.com. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
- Coburn, Wesley. "Ross Chastain, Chip Ganassi Racing Team for 3 XFINITY Races". Frontstretch. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Seelman, Jacob. "Ross Chastain Ties Career-Best Xfinity Mark at Iowa". Speed Sport. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
- Weaver, matt. "FIGHT VIDEO: Joey Gase, Ross Chastain and crews tussle after NASCAR Xfinity race". Autoweek. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
- Aragon, Dominic. "Chastain talks about scoring one of Premium Motorsports' highest NASCAR finishes". The Racing Experts. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- Beaver, Dan. "Ross Chastain to run three Xfinity races with Chip Ganassi Racing". NASCAR on NBC. NBC Sports. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Long, Dustin. "Long: Ross Chastain's win 'gives all the little guys hope'". NASCAR on NBC. NBC Sports. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
- Long, Dustin. "Xfinity practice report at Darlington". Yahoo Sports. NBC Sports. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Long, Dustin. "Ross Chastain wins Xfinity pole for today's race". Yahoo Sports. NBC Sports. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Utter, Jim. "Ross Chastain: "I'll never forget the peaks and valleys of this weekend"". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- lott, Thomas. "Kevin Harvick rips driver who wrecked him in Xfinity race". Sporting News. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- Long, Dustin. "Kevin Harvick calls Ross Chastain 'a really inexperienced guy in a really fast car'". Yahoo Sports. NBC Sports. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
- McFadin, Daniel. "'I'm just a watermelon farmer': Ross Chastain earns first Xfinity win". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
- Ryan, Nate. "Tyler Reddick paces final Xfinity practice at Las Vegas". NASCAR on NBC. NBC Sports. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
- Long, Dustin. "Today's Xfinity race at Las Vegas: start time, lineup and more". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
- Pockrass, Bob. "Perseverance pays off as Ross Chastain earns first Xfinity win". ESPN. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
- "CHASTAIN: 'TWO TO GO, I HAD A BIG OLE TEAR COME DOWN'". NASCAR.com. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
- Cain, Holly. "Ross Chastain is making the most of his opportunity". NASCAR.com. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- Bromberg, Nick. "Ross Chastain isn't getting paid to drive the No. 42 car". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
- Weaver, Matt. "NASCAR Xfinity Dover Results: Christopher Bell wins as Ross Chastain's Playoff run ends". Autoweek. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
- Spencer, Lee. "Ross Chastain to continue career with Premium Motorsports in 2019". RacinBoys. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
- McFadin, Daniel (April 27, 2017). "Xfinity Spotlight Q&A with Ross Chastain, watermelon farmer turned race car driver". NBC Sports. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
- Ramos-Williams, Connie (November 21, 2011). "Local Teen Ross Chastain Speeds Toward the Finish Line in His First NASCAR Season". Ft. Myers, FL: Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on May 30, 2013. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- "Ross Chastain – 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
- "Ross Chastain – 2014 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
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