Saturday, Dec 03

2022 Ross Chastain Trackhouse Racing Richmond Advance

By now you know the Ross Chastain story.

He is the eighth-generation watermelon farmer who came to NASCAR in 2011 as an 18-year-old with relatively no money seeking a career in the world’s most competitive racing series.

After racing in 96 truck races, 193 Xfinity races and low budget Cup Series teams, he finally got a break with a top team midway through the 2020 season. 

After several near misses, the 29-year-old Alva, Florida native out-dueled two others in a fender-banging, final lap at Circuit of the Americas on Sunday to take home his first career Cup Series victory.

He showed why so many had so much faith in him over the last several years and gave Trackhouse Racing its first victory - just 46 starts after its inception last season.

When he returned to North Carolina on Monday, fans had smashed watermelons – Chastain’s signature victory celebration move - by the Trackhouse sign outside the team’s headquarters.

One fan left a small watermelon with a congratulatory message.

Chastain couldn’t resist the urge to recreate the victory lane scene on Tuesday during the team’s celebratory breakfast in its shop, smashing that watermelon to the cheers of Trackhouse’s 130 employees.

After a week of little sleep, lots of well wishing and tons of media interviews, Chastain and his Phil Surgen led team are ready to travel to Richmond (Va.) Raceway to see if they can make it two wins in a row with the ONX/iFLY paint scheme.

And, smash a few more watermelons. 

 

Watch Ross Smash a Watermelon at Trackhouse on Tuesday

video
 
 

Ross Chastain, Driver of the No. 1 ONX/iFLY Chevrolet Camaro

Has your first Cup Series win sunk in yet?

 

"The best way all of this is starting to sink is that I'm hearing all of the different stories of where each person was at. My grandparents told me their story. My dad was out at a restaurant watching with friends. They're sending me videos and if someone in the family was really excited, someone turned their camera on and videoed them and then they all go crazy, and the camera starts flying around. Seeing them watching the end of the race and realizing that we are going to win is really neat."

How does the win change your mindset moving forward in the season?

"I don't think it does. There's a lot of handshakes, smiles, high-fives, and we're confident that we can go compete and we've been that way all year. We've been that way really since we tested in the off season. We knew we had speed and it was a matter of executing. In the first two races we didn't, I didn't do a good job, but the last month we have. It doesn't change our thoughts and philosophy on approaching races, it's just go race and compete and everything else will work out."

What are some of the challenges with Richmond?

 

"This Gen 7 car has changed how I drive at a lot of the tracks. So really, the fastest learner of this car is probably going to win and we have some tried and true things that work at Richmond, but that doesn't mean that's going to be the case this year. I think things like managing tire wear, getting good forward drive off of the corner, wrapping the yellow line at the apron, are still going to be important."

What excites you about this weekend's race at Richmond?

 

"The tire wear that always happens at Richmond. We run pretty soft tires so they're pretty fast right out of the gate and whatever compound Goodyear brings, will probably fall off quite a bit. Choosing when to pit, setting your car up to turn better, to have more forward drive - ideally you want both but we're probably not going to get that. That's what we'll try and balance during practice."

Trackhouse Racing PR

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