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XFINITY

Chastain to Return to JD Motorsports as Team Solidifies 2017 Lineup

With the 2017 season rapidly approaching, JD Motorsports is working on finalizing their plans for the NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule.

Ross Chastain will be a part of those plans as he will return to the team for the third consecutive season. The team is also working with Garrett Smithley, who finished a solid 18th in the final championship standings this past season.

“We’re 99 percent sure Garrett will be back with us,” said team owner Johnny Davis. “But we’re still working on funding and sponsorship issues to get everything lined up.”

JD Motorsports has a vacancy in their third entry as Ryan Preece has left the team to pursue other opportunities.

Chastain finished 16th in the XFINITY Series points standings last year, with 17 top 20 finishes with a best finish of 11th coming at Daytona in July. The Florida Watermelon Association will return as a primary sponsor for Chastain next season.

“Ross is a smart kid and an intelligent driver,” Davis said. “We’re lucky to have him back with us next year. He brings a lot to the team, and he works with our guys really well. We’re looking to step up our program with him.”

Smithley competed in 32 XFINITY Series races this past season with a best finish of 12th at Talladega in May.

“We’re working hard every day on getting things ready for next year,” Davis said. “It’s a complicated process to get everything in line to compete at the highest levels of stock car racing. Hopefully, we’ll be set long before it’s time to head to Daytona Beach in February for the season opener.

“Our goal is to always have our teams and our drivers in a position to show the best marketability for everybody. We take a lot of pride in our cars and our sponsors and how we showcase the drivers and the companies that work with us.”

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By Justin Tucker

Been following Motorsports for over 30 years. NASCAR, Indy Car, F1. Earliest racing memory was Richard Petty's 200th Cup Series win. Currently resides in Ridgeway, Missouri. Favorite things to do outside of Racing is watching and cheering on the Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Kansas City Chiefs.