Monday, Sep 25


      The victory is Chastain’s first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the 2023 season, and his third career victory in 168 starts in NASCAR’s premier series.


·       Chastain is the fifth driver from the fourth different Chevrolet team to record a NASCAR Cup Series win this season.


·       The victory continued Chevrolet’s NASCAR Cup Series win streak at Nashville Superspeedway – marking the manufacturer’s third win in the series’ third appearance at the 1.33-mile Tennessee oval.


·       Chastain brought Chevrolet to a double-digit win count in the NASCAR Cup Series this season with the manufacturer leading the series with 10 victories this season.


·       The winningest manufacturer in NASCAR Cup Series history, Chevrolet now sits at 843 all-time wins in NASCAR’s premier series.


·       Chevrolet swept the NASCAR tripleheader race weekend at Nashville Superspeedway with AJ Allmendinger (No. 10 Kaulig Racing Camaro SS) in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Carson Hocevar (No. 42 Niece Motorsports Silverado RST) in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.


·       This marks Chevrolet’s fourth tripleheader weekend sweep of the 2023 NASCAR season. 



LEBANON, Tenn. (June 25, 2023) – Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain continued Chevrolet’s streak of dominance in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) at Nashville Superspeedway – driving his No. 1 Worldwide Express Camaro ZL1 to the victory in the Ally 400. His first victory of the season, the 30-year-old Florida native became the fifth driver from the fourth different Chevrolet team to find victory lane in NASCAR’s premier series this season.


Chastain led the field to the green from the pole position for the first time in his young NCS career. Taking the top position on lap one, the Team Chevy driver went on to collect a top-five finish in both stages and lead a race-high 99 laps en route to Chevrolet’s third consecutive NCS victory at the 1.33-mile Tennessee oval and the manufacturer’s 10th win overall on the season.


The victory was celebrated by another season-best feat for the Bowtie brand with the Camaro ZL1 taking seven of the top-10 finishing positions in the 300-lap event. The strength across the Chevrolet camp was showcased on the final leader board with five different Chevrolet teams contributing to those finishes including Trackhouse Racing’s Chastain (race winner); Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott (fourth), Kyle Larson (fifth) and William Byron (sixth); LEGACY MOTOR CLUB’s Erik Jones (eighth); Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch (ninth); and Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger (10th).


The victory capped off yet another weekend sweep for Chevrolet across NASCAR’s three national series -  a feat only the Bowtie brand has been able to accomplish this season. With Chastain’s victory in the NCS, AJ Allmendinger’s (No. 10 Kaulig Racing Camaro SS) NASCAR Xfinity Series win and Carson Hocevar’s (No. 42 Niece Motorsports Silverado RST) NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win – this marks Chevrolet’s fourth tripleheader weekend sweep of the 2023 season.

The 2023 NCS season continues at the Chicago Street Course with the Grant Park 220 on Sunday, July 2, at 5:30 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.


ROSS CHASTAIN, NO. 1 WORLDWIDE EXPRESS CAMARO ZL1 – Race Win Press Conference Transcript


THE MODERATOR: We've now been joined by our race winner, Ross Chastain.


Ross, congratulations. You spent some time with us on Saturday. You said your team was strong. You said your car had speed. Tonight you backed it up.


ROSS CHASTAIN: Yes, ma'am. I felt the speed. I felt the grip. This or that happens and we don't win. But I felt it again on Friday. Obviously felt it on Saturday.


For me to tie together two laps - one lap, okay, I can probably do that sometimes, but the second-round lap, to not overdrive it, back up, go a few thousandths faster is a testament to the changes they made, our evolution and our processes paying off of this new car.


It's so different than anything I've ever driven. Learning it since the first time I drove it in 2021 at a test to now, to finally get an oval win on a circle track is absolutely incredible.


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.


Q. In light of everything in recent weeks since Darlington, does this feel like a statement win?

ROSS CHASTAIN: Did you see the two cars I passed? Felt pretty good.


Look, I first met Martin Truex Jr. at a Bass Pro Shops in Fort Myers, Florida when our local one opened. He signed a Chevy Trucks hat for me. Still have it on my childhood bedroom wall hanging up. The Sharpie has about faded off, barely still there. He was a hero, idol of mine.


To go to battle against him, have criticism from him, go back and forth, then to have him air block me at Dover like he did, when I thought we were just as fast, was humbling. To go up against my heroes like that, to beat him tonight, drive by him and the 11, was definitely a statement. It felt good. I'm proud that we were able to do that.


Q. What has been the message to your team, not them to you but you to them, in the last four, five weeks?

ROSS CHASTAIN: Yeah, I'm not a big vocal rah-rah guy. I'm not telling them anything that they don't already know.


I think they see me going to work, just going through the processes that Trackhouse has in place for me, that GM and Wise Performance has for me. They see me, hear me go through business with MMI, what I'm trying to do outside of the race car.


They know that I'm all in. I don't have to tell them that. I don't have to tell them, We're going to be okay, guys. We look at each other, nod our heads, go about our business.


My car chief David is big on positive affirmations, surrounding our minds with good thoughts about how we can be better. I am, too. I read books that show me and teach me little ways to bring it all back down, getting to neutral, something I've talked about before. They see me doing that. They know that I'm all in.

I'm going to make mistakes. They're okay with that. They tell me that. I know that I have the best team on pit road and I have the best team building my race cars. We just kind of go about our business.


Q. You called your shot walking out of here on Saturday afternoon. What made you realize you could get it done?

ROSS CHASTAIN: Nobody was actually really supposed to know that. That was kind of an off-the-shoulder in passing of the guitars. I didn't really put too much thought into it. The words went out. I read the tweet whenever, I guess this morning. Oh, that is a little too confident I thought, a little too cocky for my taste.


I told myself to not do that again, to just keep those thoughts internal, use them for fuel and fire. I don't need to say that kind of stuff.


I'm really glad it worked out, let's just put it that way, because it was just -- I look at a lot of y'all in here, when I'm on the microphone, I know the world is watching. When I'm walking out, whether I'm turning the lights off in the bathroom on one of y'all, it's just friendly. For that to go out, it's a reminder of they're doing their job. What I do on the track is seen by the world. What I say to anybody in here, it's their job to tell the world.


I'm glad that it got out, glad that it worked out. I don't like saying that kind of stuff. I'm sure glad that it worked out. I am glad that I said it.


Q. Anyone who watched the whole race could argue you had the best car. Martin did start to gain on you with 25 to go. Is there a balance between hitting your marks, especially in dirty air yourself, looking out behind you, doing all the things you have to do to keep the car behind you? What is that balancing act like?

ROSS CHASTAIN: It is. We got the lead early obviously with the pole, then we got passed pretty quickly. Martin and William were really fast. They were ahead of us, Tyler was ahead of us. Tyler had his issue. There were three of us. I knew there was one more that would come up and race, it was the 11.


As we went into the night, as the sun went down, I was fast enough to catch the 11 and 19 for the end of stage two, but I couldn't get by them. Martin air blocked me all over the track. All right, well, try to get him in stage three. Was clearly faster. Stage three fired off, we all singled out. I had a shot at Martin for a few laps. He got by me. He actually waved and gave me the peace sign when he cleared me early in stage three. Okay, he's not mad at me, okay. The sun went down and our Worldwide Express Chevy came to life. Like a light switch, I flipped the switch and got more grip, filled the grip bottle up. From there I was able to drive by the 19 and the 11 before the pit stops, which I think was key.


They put up a fight, but they let me race them. They didn't just air block like they did at the end of the stage two, like Martin did, like he did at Dover. I think I've helped move the needle and teach some of these guys on track.


He let it just naturally play out. The 11 did as well. When he got to me at the end, I air blocked him back. We got the gap. I was loose for sure. I think he was. I don't know what he was. I got loose. The final set of tires, started off looser than the previous set. Just kind of hanging on there at the end.


Q. Are you and Josevar going to start a band with the guitars?

ROSS CHASTAIN: That would be a bad, bad band if we did. Nobody would want to hear that.

Look, we drive the cars. We won the race. We can hire some talent to come play and guitars for us. I guess you plug this one in. I don't know nothing about music. Riverhouse does, Grant, the boys and girls over there, can play us a tune tonight.


Q. It was a good weekend for MMI. You've done work with Phil. What are you seeing out of Carson here the last couple of weeks and months towards the goals he set for him on and off track?

ROSS CHASTAIN: We're in a small capacity with Carson. But it is about managing the at-track stuff, just trying to manage his kind of larger-than-life, pun intended for his height, personality that carries him outside of the race truck and race car.


I see a lot of myself in him. I see incredible speed and talent. I know the trucks he's driving with Phil Surgen and that group, Al Niece, to have the Worldwide Express win the truck race, get the pole for the Cup race and win the Cup race, it's absolutely incredible to be sitting here watching that confetti flying around the door knowing that was shot off for us.


I was just so proud of the effort of Niece Motorsports on Friday night. Yeah, to see Carson keep growing, I'm growing as well. When we talk, we're not that different, just different levels, ages, chapters of our life. We're kind of fighting the same things. Make mistakes when we're really fast. Should probably just let it play out. I've been open with him the things he needs to improve on. I'm looking at him at 30 years old, he's so much younger, mentally we're trying to get through this with a lot of criticism on him.

I criticized him when I thought he needed it. I thought I explained my view of it. Yeah, we've seen obviously a 2.0 version of him. I'm working, maybe I'm at 1.8, but we're going to get to 2.0 as I'm evolving.


Q. This race two years ago, Phil brought you to pit road, I believe you said you kind of questioned that call. Turns out Phil was right. You finished second. How pivotal do you think that race was to developing the level of trust you've built with him?

ROSS CHASTAIN: Yeah, some people might think that our radio is too quiet. It's days like that and moments like that that are the cause. I described the car, and that's all I did. I describe the track, car, what I'm feeling, what I need. Sometimes that's not enough communication. They're learning to poke me more because I'm just driving the car.


There were times tonight where we were leading there at the end after the final pit stop, I thought Martin was catching me, I thought I needed another 10th, half a 10th of speed. I drove in 30 feet deeper and I didn't make the corner. The whole time I could have been explaining the car, been in a better head space. I'm just driving. Trying to find every bit of hundredth of a second to manage my gap and go fast.

I've learned that my boys and girls at Trackhouse and on the 1 car, they're the smartest I could possibly ask for. I let them do their jobs, they let me do mine. Like I talked about earlier, I'm not a rah-rah guy. I don't psych 'em up, they don't psych me up. We joke. Our hauler is one of the most laid back I've ever been part of, pit road.


I learned a lot that day and matured. That was half a season into my first Cup season. In Xfinity, in the 4 car, I would kind of learn from Landon Cassill, quarterback the car from there, we need to pit, stay out, wave around, take scuff tires now, we need to save our stickers for later. Not the case when you get to the Cup series. You let the smart boys and girls pick those calls.


Q. Phil goes under the radar, big names among crew chiefs. Do you feel Phil still doesn't get enough recognition?

ROSS CHASTAIN: I think in the garage they know how fast his cars are. He's been a journeyman of sorts, way longer than me. He's been through teams and worked his way up from not being a crew chief to being a crew chief in the Cup Series and winning races now.


It didn't just happen overnight. The people in the garage know Phil Surgen. I'll be honest, whenever they said he was going to crew chief the 42 Cup car, when Kenseth was driving it, I didn't know who Phil Surgen was. I was tuned in on the 1 and 42, I was not driving in the building, but I was at CGR. I had to ask who is Phil Surgen. I felt silly saying that at the time. I'd been around him, I just didn't know the name. I didn't know the face with the name. I knew the face but I didn't know the name.


I love it. I love that he just goes about his business. He's not flashy. I've learned to embrace the fandom and the front facing of Trackhouse and NASCAR that I've been fortunate to be given. I'm proud to be one of the faces on the broadcast when they put five racers up there on the football coverage or baseball or talking about the next race. I'm proud to be that guy, one of those five.


I'm more like Phil than I am a rah-rah guy. I don't really put myself out there. I got people that can do that for me.


Q. From your win at Talladega to you taking the checkered flag at Nashville, you led 983 laps in the Cup Series. You said you made a statement win. How important is this win knowing how close you have been in the last 42 races?

ROSS CHASTAIN: It's bigger than anything. It's an oval, a circle track. It's lift, slide, hit the gas and brake, turn the wheel. My boys and girls on the 1 team have not let me forget that. They have been pushing me on that. Take you serious when you win on an oval track.


This 1 team, before Trackhouse and I were a part of it, was very different iterations, but they were winning races in the Cup Series. They've been here and done it. They wanted to see me do it on a true oval.

Yeah, I don't know anything else other than that. I think about them and our conversations, how much work we've put into it, they've put into me to make me better on these types of tracks.


Q. From our view, do you feel like you drove the perfect race?

ROSS CHASTAIN: Never perfect. There's lots of mistakes. When the sun went down, I had slipped off turn two several times earlier in the race, lifted, spin, about spun out. When the sun went down, it happened again. It was the first time that my spotter said, Easy, take care of your stuff. When I lifted, the fire shot out the left side exhaust from the fuel burn dumping out. In the daylight you can't see it from that far away. As soon as he said that, I thought, The fire is telling on me. I'm sliding over here, now he knows it.


There's lots of mistakes.


I thought I could have gotten by the 42 earlier in the race. I could have passed Martin on the final restart better, gotten that done. I didn't.


Other than that, though, there was a point in the race when I was running fifth, after Tyler had his issue, spun with the tire, we were fifth. I thought, Well, the 19 is better, the 24 is better. I kind of had a moment where I thought that. Then I thought, That doesn't matter, I don't care if they are better. What do I need to do next?


The next thing is warm my tires, get a good restart. I'm fourth in the line for the choose. I chose second row inside. Get clear of the outside guy. Hopefully roll up to the next guy. I did that. What's next? Didn't get clear of the 19.


So the moments that I questioned it, it was a self talk. I have a lot of conversations in my head. Try not to push the radio when I'm talking back to those voices. I need to speak about it in my head and have real dialogue.


I talked myself to go getting a good restart, go from there. Sun went down. After that it was pretty darn good. There wasn't many things that I would do different now.


Q. Three-wide, three laps. Talk about that. Truex and Hamlin cut you some slack. Racing hard, but we didn't wreck, I didn't overstep. Do you feel those moment also help you long-term?

ROSS CHASTAIN: For sure. I thought me and William lined up on the front row. I thought he chased me up a little too much in the moment. I haven't watched the replay. To me he was worried about me, the 19 in turn one drove up underneath both of us. 19 cleared both of us. I thought, Dang, Will, you let the guy in third drive by both of us.


19 and 11 specifically, yes. There were times that they passed me. The 11 got by us on the strategy of the caution. When I got back to him, he raced me great. 19 did as well. That's all I ask for.


At the end of stage two when the points were on the line, the 19 ran me all over the track. I wasn't going to pass that 19 no matter how fast I was. Luckily we were fast right after that. Drove by him after maybe 30 laps. The 11 a little bit later.


I feel like if we would have pitted again the final pit stop and ran till the end and tried to pass him late, I don't think I would have got the same courtesy. A little bit fortunate on the times. Also definitely they did it how they've said they would. I've been racing them with more room, and they gave it to me tonight.


Q. Justin said this is his sweetest victory. How sweet is it to win in the boss' backyard? Tell us the history of the watermelon smash.

ROSS CHASTAIN: Hard to beat the first, the first win last year at COTA. Nashville is where the word Trackhouse was formed. Justin moved here with his family. Steve and everybody at Tootsies went to a meeting with them, take a chance on me, I will make it pay off for you. Tootsies was one of the early sponsors of the 99 in 2021. Justin told me that story. He still lives here. Ty lives here, Dean lives here with Trackhouse 360.


It's incredible the thought that we won here. It's mind-boggling. It's hard to line that up, have a fast car here.


For us the 1 team, all three years we've been here with our group, has been capable of running in the top

five. Tonight we put it all together. So incredible.


Q. (No microphone.)

ROSS CHASTAIN: We just carried watermelon. Publicity. The ag industry is what I sponsored me early on. My first races in 2011 was an investment by my family. The ag industry pitched in and sponsored me. Different companies all along the way. All with the goal of selling more watermelon. Definitely when we got the 42 Xfinity ride, we thought, Let's have it there, raise it in Victory Lane. We won the darn second race we ever ran in that 42 car. I held it up. I didn't really know what to do. I sat it down on the roof. We were in the media center. It was bending the glass at Las Vegas in the media center. Somebody in the room asked what I was going to do with it. Somebody asked me to move it. I think that glass is still bent. Smash it open and eat it, I guess.


They asked if they could film it. We went out on the front stretch. It was born. It's a natural feeling, not something that is sponsored in a sense that I have to do it. I don't need chuck points and all that stuff.

It's a (indiscernible) watermelon. The watermelon varieties we grow at our farm. We're done with our crop this year. The Georgia crop is being harvested now. So for those farmers, it's a great year. It was a great growing season for us in Florida. They're knocking it out of the park, breaking records in Georgia right now. Yosemite Fresh is harvesting out west in California.


As I've grown in my racing, I've gotten to meet more farmers. Cool for me. All I wanted to be as a kid was a farmer. I wanted to be like my dad, uncle, grandfather, every Chastain eight generations before me that he were watermelon farmers. The first Chastain came over a long time ago, and not long after that they started farming. It's all I ever wanted to be as a kid, wanted to walk in my dad's footprints.


For my brother to be able to run the farm at home, race a little bit, we get to promote watermelon, it's our family's business. Really the coolest part was after we won that first race, I wasn't sure how the ag industry would think about it because I was wasting a watermelon. My granddad called me the next morning. He said, Ross, we will never know how many people in the world saw that watermelon smash. I saw it on my Facebook. I thought, All right, that's all the affirmation. That's the checkmark I needed to keep going. We have not looked back.


Q. (No microphone.)

ROSS CHASTAIN: Well, we didn't slip. I was worried, too.


Q. What song comes to mind for you to express your weekend and the importance of this victory?

ROSS CHASTAIN: If you take the words I said walking out of that door it's, I believe we will win. A little Pitbull action.


Yeah, that's not very Nashville. He's definitely not here. He's in Miami.


Yeah, I don't know. I'm '90s country music, older country music fan. Only sing when I'm feeling good. I'm feeling good tonight.


Yeah, I think the stuff on the frontstretch, I believe that. I've thought about that. It's not just to say it when I have the spotlight. It's a belief that you'll be criticized. I think everybody in this room at some point has been criticized. If you want to keep doing it, if you want to be in this room, in this sport, you'll keep going. No matter if it's business or sports or your life, you just wake up and go to work. They're not all going to be good days. We're going to remember the old days better than they probably were. Just get up and go to work every day, see what happens.


Q. You have top fives in all three races here. Why do you feel this track suits your driving style?

ROSS CHASTAIN: I've heard other people in the sport say it: you cannot drive a slow car fast. I have had fast ones here. But I have had fast ones a lot of places and have not put together top fives and wins.

I don't know. I don't. I don't have a reason because I feel like we could have done this Dover, other tracks. It's not just here, this is our bright spot of the year.


Yeah, it's showing. I'm not sad about it. I'll take it.


Q. Now that you've won, locked into the Playoff, how does this change your season?

ROSS CHASTAIN: I felt confident we were going to make it. Everybody looks on the points every week. Based on our gap to the cut line, felt safe. Felt safe with the winners moving up the cut line. Wasn't going to stay where it was at. Just keep acquiring points, bringing fast cars, we'll go fight for it.

Ultimately for us it's a journey to get there, but it's ultimately all about getting into the Playoffs. That's definitely it.


Personally it doesn't change for me. I'm not going to start as early in the morning as I would have if I lost, okay? I'm not going to be at the tech center at GM at 8 a.m. with Dan. I'm going to get there at some point tomorrow and ask him to come in late with me and work through maybe tomorrow afternoon with me.

We're going to go right back to work. Celebrate this throughout the week, but there will still be the blocks of time that I will cut out for the competition and get ready for next week. It's too important to miss out on an opportunity next week because you had good success this week. We want fast cars like this. If I don't put in the work, I will not be ready when I pull on track next week.







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