Ross Chastain to join Chip Ganassi Racing Xfinity program full time

Ross Chastain is getting his shot — and on a full-time basis.

Chip Ganassi Racing officials announced Friday morning that the 25-year-old will drive the organization’s No. 42 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series full time beginning in 2019, with sponsorship from DC Solar.

It’s quite a jump for a driver who, midway through the 2018 season, bet on himself and won. When a three-race opportunity with Ganassi materialized, Chastain opted to take it and forego a paycheck, betting on the experience paying dividends in the future instead.

“I’m just trying to now to throw up, honestly,” an emotion Chastain joked during a press conference. “It’s unreal.”

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In August, after CGR had announced Chastain had come on to drive the car for three races, the Florida native consistently was one of the fastest drivers on the track. He won the Busch Pole Award in his first race with Ganassi at Darlington, then won at Las Vegas Motor Speedway while leading 180 laps and driving a DC Solar-backed Chevy. The stint concluded with a runner-up showing at Richmond.

Driving for JD Motorsports in the Xfinity Series and Premium Motorsports in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Chastain has displayed a knack for getting the most out of his equipment.

Chastain has one win and four top-five finishes in 137 career Xfinity Series starts — two of those top-five finishes came in three races with Ganassi this year. The other two were at Iowa in the No. 4 Chevrolet for team owner Johnny Davis.

“I didn’t think anything like this would come about, at least not this soon,” Chastain said. “What Johnny Davis has done for me is incredible. … I felt like I made so many mistakes (driving the No. 42) … but they reassured me the entire time while I was thinking about all my mistakes. I knew that was my chance.”

Ganassi reiterated during the press conference that he also hoped to keep John Hunter Nemechek in the Ganassi fold. Entering Phoenix, Nemechek had run 16 Xfinity Series races in the No. 42, winning once at Kansas Speedway and logging five top-five finishes.

“I like the kid,” Ganassi said of Nemechek. “I’d love to have him around.”

The post Ross Chastain to join Chip Ganassi Racing Xfinity program full time appeared first on Official Site Of NASCAR.

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