By Staff Report | NASCAR.com
Ross Chastain, the breakout star of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season, has claimed one final honor: 2019 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Most Popular Driver.
Chastain didn’t even plan to even be a full-time Gander Trucks driver in 2019, but he quickly became the busiest driver in NASCAR after his 2018 plans fell through, driving as many races as he could in all three NASCAR national series.
The fans took notice as Chastain won the award for the first time, with the news coming on his 27th birthday.
In June, Niece Motorsports – which supplies the No. 45 Chevrolet for Chastain – announced Chastain would change his points declaration from the Xfinity Series to Gander Trucks, allowing the driver to compete for the series championship … and the Most Popular Driver in this series.
While Chastain fell short of lifting the big trophy, he provided a summer stretch for the ages that saw him grow into one of NASCAR’s most successful drivers on any level, and introduced a new celebration in the process – smashing a watermelon to smithereens.
Chastain won three Gander Trucks races this season (plus one for good measure in the Xfinity Series) while logging 10 top-five finishes and 19 top 10s in 23 starts. He advanced to the Championship 4, finishing second on the season to champion Matt Crafton.