"It was a dream come true" as Ross Chastain finishes 20th in Cup debut

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Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Jun 4, 2017, 11:49 PM

Ross Chastain had no real expectations for his first start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Kurt Busch, Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, Ross Chastain, Premium Motorsports, Delaware Office of Highway Safety - Protect Your Melon Chevrolet SS
Ross Chastain, Chevrolet
Gray Gaulding, BK Racing Toyota, Ross Chastain, Premium Motorsports, Delaware Office of Highway Safety - Protect Your Melon Chevrolet SS, Ryan Sieg
Ross Chastain, Chevrolet
A.J. Allmendinger, JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet, Ross Chastain, Premium Motorsports, Delaware Office of Highway Safety - Protect Your Melon Chevrolet SS, Matt DiBenedetto, Go Fas Racing Ford
Ross Chastain, JD Motorsports Chevrolet
Ross Chastain, Chevrolet

In fact, he didn’t have much choice where his first start was coming or much time to prepare when he found out.

“About three weeks ago Johnny (Davis) called me asked me if I would be open to running Dover. There was a little hesitation but once we decided to do it, it ended up being the perfect place as I was running the Truck as well as Xfinity car,” Chastain said.

“This was not my choice. JD Motorsports put this together with Premium (Motorsports) and Jay Robinson. They picked me to be the guy to come out here and drive it for them.”

Chastain remained on the lead lap in the No. 15 Chevrolet for much of Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, but eventually fell three laps down.

He still managed a respectable 20th place finish in his Cup series debut and ended up with a better day than several of the series’ stars, including Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Chastain said his inexperience on the Cup side likely hurt his performance as he had a difficult time communicating the right changes to the car.

“There was a lot of learning today. Hopefully, I’ll get another shot in the future,” he said. “I want to run some more.”

Chastain, 24, has been running full-time this season in the Xfinity Series for JD Motorsports, where he is 18th in the series standings.

“It was a dream come true, obviously. It’s been my dream since I was 12 years old, ever since I first drove a race car,” Chastain said. “We wanted to finish has many laps as we could and we kept staying on the lead lap and fought one of the (Richard Childress Racing) cars for the (free pass) and got it from them.

“Jay Robinson kept throwing sticker (new) tires at it, even though it wasn’t part of the plan. And here we are – we finished 20th after the big wreck at the end.

“All in all, I did better than I thought I was going to and the car was awesome.”

 

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Dover
Location Dover International Speedway
Drivers Ross Chastain
Teams Premium Motorsports
Author Jim Utter
Article type Breaking news