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NASCAR Cup Series

Ross Chastain Survives Late Daytona 500 Carnage

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Sunday’s DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway concluded with carnage and chaos. From a race with huge packs throughout the event it became a survival strategy in the closing laps.

Many thought we were going to see what we saw on Saturday with the Xfinity Series race, cars running single file against the wall. Fortunately, that was not the case. The event consisted of two-wide and sometimes three-wide racing most of the day.

The first major accident happened with less than 20 laps to go. More than 15 cars were a part of that accident, but Ross Chastain was able to overcome the madness and bring home the No. 15 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet in 10th place.

“Just riding around” Chastain told reporters. “Jay Robinson working together, having a plan coming in that’s why he kept me in the car and didn’t put other people in I think because he knew we could work together and know when to go right at the end and try to get 10th that’s a big deal for us.”

Chastain pulled triple duty to start off the season. In all three races, he stayed out of trouble and his best finish came in Friday night’s NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck event where he placed in the third position.

“It’s luck for sure, definitely luck,” Chastain said. “I said it this morning, we’re going to use all our luck up this weekend and I might come back here for five years and crash. You just take it when you can get it and luckily, I had a plan in the Truck race knowing they were going to crash and, in the Xfinity race, we got lucky because we went and raced, and nobody did crash so good thing we did race.

“Tonight, we knew from the beginning to just ride and we got two laps down at one point. The car was fast enough to keep up it was just matter of timing our gaps and stay in that second pack.”

Luck played a role for most of the drivers that finished in the top-10. Some of the cars that had strong placements were already involved in prior accidents throughout the event. It shows that part of your driving skills at superspeedway tracks like Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway must be fast reflexes as drivers need to know how to avoid wrecks.

“A couple of them we got lucky to be able to stop in time,” Chastain said. “I slid my tires a couple of times trying to get slowed down but I feel like its right place at the right time. There is a bigger plan for all of this and a lot of this is out of our control as far as if you get caught up in it or not.”

After an offseason that left Chastain in wonders after losing his full-time Xfinity Series ride with Chip Ganassi Racing, Chastain started the 2019 season on the right track. As Speedweeks concludes, Chastain will put his focus on Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend, where he hopes to continue the momentum of a strong start to the season.

EMAIL BRANDON AT: brandon.rivero@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
News

Chavous Returns to Premium Motorsports

The rookie class continues to grow in the Camping World Truck Series, as Premium Motorsports announced that Wendell Chavous will return to the team to pilot the No. 49 Chevrolet and compete for the Rookie of the Year honors.

Despite the ‘rookie’ label, Chavous does have experience in the series, as well as with Premium Motorsports, as he drove for the team for seven races in 2015. During that stretch, he captured five top-25’s, which included 16th place finish at Kansas.

“It is a pleasure to have Wendell back with our team.” Team owner Jay Robinson said. “Not only does he have natural talent and ability, his personality and appearance should be quite appealing to any company looking to develop their brand in partnership with the NASCAR vertical.”

The upcoming season marks Premium Motorsports’ third year of competing in the series. They will look to improve off of last season, where they captured seven top-20’s.

Wayne Carroll, who has worked in all three of NASCAR’s top-tier series with a wide variety of drivers, will also return the team and serve as Chavous’ crew chief for the season.

Mitchell Breuer is a POPULAR SPEED Development Journalist

EMAIL MITCHELL AT mitchell.breuer@popularspeed.com

TWITTER: @MitchellB66

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
News

HScott Motorsports Will Not Compete in NASCAR in 2017

After months of speculation, Harry Scott, owner of HScott Motorsports officially announced on Monday that the team would not compete during the 2017 NASCAR season.

In a deal finalized last week, the No. 15 charter used for Clint Bowyer, which was owned by HScott Motorsports, has been sold to Premium Motorsports. The charter that was leased for the No. 46 car and Michael Annett was sold by Premium Motorsport to Furniture Row Racing for the No. 77 car that will be driven by Erik Jones next season.

Bowyer will be moving to the No. 14 Ford and StewartHaas Racing this upcoming season while Annett will drive the No. 5 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the XFINITY Series.

Scott released a statement regarding the decision not to field a team next season.

“One thing I learned about NASCAR is that it is a ‘people business.’ I will forever be grateful to the men and women who worked tirelessly to make HScott Racing successful. This includes our dedicated employees, sponsors and partners. We were fortunate to have the support of world-class sponsors like Brandt, DC Solar, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Pilot Flying J, and 5 hour ENERGY. Our racing program would not have been possible without the assistance of Rick Hendrick, Hendrick Motorsports, and Chevrolet.

“I love this sport and being part of it. I invested in NASCAR because I truly believe it represents the best racing competition in the world and the best people in all sports.”

“Looking back, I will always be especially proud of the unprecedented success of our NASCAR K&N Series teams, including four consecutive championships and for the lifelong friendships that were forged over the last seven years. My hope is that we were able to develop drivers that will thrive at the highest levels for years to come.”

 EMAIL JUSTIN at tuckerjustin65@yahoo.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @JustinTuckerWeb

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
NASCAR Cup Series

Furniture Row Adds Jones for 2017; Will Need A Charter

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Furniture Row Racing announced on Sunday that Erik Jones will compete full-time in the 2017 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season driving a second car for the Denver-based organization.

Jones, the 20-year-old star for Joe Gibbs Racing in the XFINITY Series, will drive the No. 77 5-Hour Energy Toyota as a teammate to Sprint Cup veteran Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 78 Toyota. Jones won the 2015 Camping World Truck Series title for Kyle Busch Motorsports and currently leads the XFINITY Chase standings in the JGR No. 20 Toyota with three victories.

Jones is signed to a one-year contract with FRR for 2017. Since the organization has only one charter spot in the 36-team system, the newly-formed No. 77 team will not be guaranteed into every race next season unless a second charter is acquired.

“There are several charters out there that we are hearing are available,” team owner Barney Visser said. “We’ve been looking at some, but we don’t know where exactly where we are going to be on that. We are going to get a charter, but we’re not sure who we are going to get it from yet.”

The inevitable purchase of a charter is more likely to come from a smaller Cup team when the 2016 season concludes, so here are some potential charters for sale when the NASCAR offseason begins in November:

HSCOTT Motorsports No. 15

HSM fields two chartered teams in the Cup Series, but their 2017 plans are unknown. Clint Bowyer signed with HSM to drive the No. 15 Chevrolet for one year in a placeholder position until he can join Stewart-Haas Racing next season. Bowyer will take over Tony Stewart’s seat in the No. 14 Ford as the three-time Cup champion will retire from Cup racing after the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As for HSM, there’s a lot of unknowns for next year, and they may not return to Cup at all in 2017.

Premium Motorsports No. 55/98

Premium Motorsports agreed to a one-year deal to let HSM’s No. 46 Chevrolet have a guaranteed spot in every 2016 Cup race. The No. 46’s driver, Michael Annett, has had a less-than-spectacular tenure in two seasons with HSM and his average finish in 2016 is 32nd. His contract with HSM is up when the 2016 campaign ends so he will be looking for a 2017 Cup ride. The No. 46 charter will return to Premium when the season ends so the team could decide to sell the charter again but to FRR this time.

GoFas Racing No. 32

The No. 32 has not qualified for every race since the start of 2013, but the team has attempted every one of them since then, which was the requirement for a team to be granted a charter when NASCAR created the agreement in February. The small Cup team could decide to sell just as Premium did for HSM in February, but this scenario seems less likely as it has a multi-year deal with Jeffrey Earnhardt to run a majority of the races in the coming seasons.

EMAIL JOHN AT john.haverlin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @The5thJohnHav

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or staff. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.