A part-time gig with Kaulig Racing in 2019 has landed Ross Chastain a full-time ride with the team in 2020.
Kaulig announced Tuesday that the omnipresent Chastain would drive in all 33 races for the team next season. Chastain landed a part-time ride with Kaulig for the 2019 season after his initial 2019 plans fell apart when the FBI raided Chip Ganassi Racing sponsor DC Solar. The company was going to sponsor an Xfinity Series car for Chastain at CGR this season.
Chastain, who has driven in underfunded equipment for most of his career, landed a three-race tryout of sorts at CGR in 2018 and won in his second Xfinity Series start for the team. That portended big things for 2019 and beyond, but the alleged ponzi scheme that was DC Solar put those plans on hold.
The 26-year-old has driven in 67 races across NASCAR’s three series this season. He’s driven in all but one Cup Series race for backmarker team Premium Motorsports, and has driven 17 races for Kaulig and JD Motorsports in the Xfinity Series and full-time for Niece Motorsports in the Truck Series. He won the July race at Daytona for Kaulig for the team’s first-ever win in the series.
Chastain originally didn’t have plans to compete for the Truck Series title but his success with Niece changed all that. He’s won three races and has finished in the top 10 on 16 occasions through the first 20 races of the season. He changed his points status to NASCAR’s No. 3 series in June and still qualified for the Truck Series playoffs despite a disqualified win at Iowa. He’s currently sixth in the Truck Series standings after getting caught in a crash late on Saturday at Talladega.
The move to Kaulig gives Chastain a good shot to race for the Xfinity Series title as a followup to his Truck Series title challenge. While Kaulig is a step behind Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR’s No. 2 series, Chastain should easily qualify for the playoffs next season and be a contender to make the final four at Phoenix.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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