HOMESTEAD, Fla – From racing on Saturday nights at his home track in Punta Gorda, Florida to winning in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2018, Ross Chastain sure made this year memorable. Recently, it was announced that Chastain would run full-time for Chip Ganassi Racing in their No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in 2019.
The 25-year-old hasn’t had it easy accomplishing what he did this year, but he’s proven that if you work hard you can achieve your dreams. Many competitors have different opinions about Chastain’s driving style, but that never distracted him. He continued to work hard and eventually grabbed an opportunity that led him to victory lane.
Seat time was a key figure for Chastain to learn how to become successfull, including racing with different teams in the top three levels in NASCAR.
“Yeah, it’s just a combination of everything,” Chastain told POPULAR SPEED. “Just racing as much as I can be the biggest thing I can do, and I’ll do it anytime and anywhere, I’ll race it. Getting laps helps me more than everything else.”
Although Chastain is not racing for a championship this weekend, he fulfilled goals that many do not even become close to. Beyond the XFINITY Series victory, he scored three top-fives with two different teams, and captured a pole. Prior to the 2018 season, Chastain only had one top-five finish with no pole awards to his credit.
Saturday, Chastain will make his last appearance with JD Motorsports in the Ford Ecoboost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Throughout his tenure there, he gained experience and had strong finishes that may have ultimately caught the attention of Chip Ganassi, among others.
The lessons gained extend to away from the track as Chastain has learned that racing is not the only thing in the world. As he has evolved as a driver, he has figured out that what happens at the race track stays at the track.
“Mainly it’s just, at least for me when stuff happens it’s not the end of the world,” Chastain told POPULAR SPEED. “There is going to be another race, you’re going to wake up the next day. Racing is not the end of the world and I was this way when I started as a racecar driver because we get so self-centered and so focused on our racing that one little thing goes wrong we wake up Monday morning and can’t get out of bed because we’re so passionate and sick to your stomach that you made a mistake.”
Chastain will be closing that chapter in his career, but will always look back and be thankful for the opportunities he had coming up in the ranks. As he walks out of Miami on Saturday after the Ford Ecoboost 300, he’ll go into the off-season knowing that all the challenging work he has put into his racing career is paying off.
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