Ross Chastain drove the Castrol Ford Mustang to 17th-place finish at Auto Club Speedway Sunday afternoon, in his second week behind the wheel of the No. 6 as the fill-in driver for Ryan Newman.
In what was the debut for Castrol as the primary partner on the iconic No. 6, Chastain steadily improved from Saturday’s qualifying effort to bring home a top-20 result. A cold front moved through Southern California overnight, drastically changing weather conditions and providing an added challenge to the field.
The opening stage ran caution-free as Chastain hit pit road for his first green-flag stop at lap 27, reporting he was tight on throttle and exit in his No. 6 machine. He would go on to finish 19th in the opening stage.
After a speedy pit stop under the stage break, Chastain gained five spots to restart 14th for the second segment, where he continued to battle tight conditions. The only natural caution of the day waved at lap 92 when Chastain ran 16th, before going on to finish the stage in 20th.
After losing a few spots on pit road when he pitted too deep into the box, Chastain quickly made up the time, advancing up to 14th by lap 150, while still battling mostly tight conditions. The final 78 laps ran green, with Chastain holding steady inside the field’s top 20 for the 17th-place finish.
The No. 6 team wraps up the West Coast swing next weekend in Phoenix, when the NASCAR Cup Series hits Phoenix Raceway Sunday afternoon (FOX, MRN, SiriusXM Channel 90).