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Chastain to make 100th Truck Series career start at Sonoma

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ return to Sonoma Raceway in 24 years is set to mark the fifth and final scheduled series start of the season for Cup Series competitor Ross Chastain. It is also the site that will mark a milestone start for the two-time Cup winner who currently competes for Trackhouse Racing in NASCAR’s premier series. By competing in this weekend’s event at Sonoma with Niece Motorsports, Chastain will make his 100th career start in the Truck circuit. 

A native of Alva, Florida, Chastain made his Truck debut at Lucas Oil Raceway in July 2011, where he replaced his future team owner Justin Marks in the No. 66 Chevrolet Silverado for Turn One Racing. By then, he was also making his inaugural presence within NASCAR’s top three national touring series. Starting in 15th place, Chastain notched a 10th-place result in his series debut. He returned to compete at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway between August and November, where he finished in the top 30 during the four-race stretch.

During the following season, Chastain competed as a full-time Truck competitor in the No. 08 Toyota Tundra for SS-Green Light Racing. The highlight of his full-time rookie season was notching his first top-five result in the series by finishing in third place at Bristol in August. To go along with a total of four top-10 results and an average-finishing result of 21.3 during the 22-race schedule, he capped off the season in 17th place in the final standings.

In 2013, Chastain joined Brad Keselowski Racing as a part-time competitor of the No. 19 Ford F-150 for 14 of 22-scheduled Truck events. He commenced the season by finishing 14th at Daytona followed by a 20th-place result at Martinsville. After finishing no higher than fifth during his next six scheduled starts, Chastain was placed in prime position of notching his first Truck victory at Iowa Speedway in September. Despite starting on pole position and leading a race-high 116 of 212 laps, he was overtaken by the reigning series champion James Buescher during two green-white-checkered restarts and settled in a career-best second place. Four races later at Phoenix in November, Chastain led 63 of 150 laps until he was overtaken and beaten by newcomer Erik Jones during a 10-lap shootout to the finish. Finishing in second place for the second time of the season, Chastain capped off the season with an eighth-place result at Homestead along with his first two career poles, four top-five results, seven top-10 results and an average-finishing result of 10.0 in 14 starts.

Photo by Barry Albert for SpeedwayMedia.com.

After departing Brad Keselowski Racing at the conclusion of the 2013 season, Chastain competed the first two Truck events of 2014 with RBR Enterprises. He finished 30th during the season-opening event at Daytona after being involved in a late multi-truck wreck and rallied to finish 14th at Martinsville during the following event. Chastain returned for the season finale event at Homestead, where he piloted the No. 35 Win-Tron Racing Toyota Tundra to an 11th-place result.

After failing to qualify for a single Truck event in 2015 and making just a single start at Talladega with Bolen Motorsports in 2016, Chastain campaigned in seven of the first 10 scheduled Truck events with Bolen. During the stretch, his season-best results were a 10th-place result at Atlanta Motor Speedway in February followed by a seventh-place result at Martinsville in March. He would then compete in a total of seven Truck events in 2018 between Beaver Motorsports, Premium Motorsports and Niece Motorsports. During his part-time season in 2018, his best result was a seventh-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in September.

Despite having a full-time Xfinity Series ride with Chip Ganassi Racing fall apart due to sponsorship woes, the 2019 season produced a hefty schedule for Chastain, who campaigned in nearly all events between all three national touring series. Entering the season as a full-time Cup Series competitor for Premium Motorsports and as a part-time Xfinity competitor between JD Motorsports and Kaulig Racing, Chastain initially commenced the season as a part-time Truck competitor for Niece Motorsports. After finishing in the top 10 during the first six scheduled events, he notched his first Truck career victory at Kansas Speedway in May after overtaking Stewart Friesen, who ran out of fuel, under the final two laps. Chastain’s first win in the Truck circuit also marked the first victory in NASCAR for Niece Motorsports. A month later, he elected to compete for the Truck Series title as a full-time competitor for Niece Motorsports. 

Commencing his late season charge for the 2019 Truck title, Chastain notched what would have been his second victory of the season at Iowa Speedway in June. The victory, however, was short-lived due to his truck failing post-race inspection, which prompted NASCAR to strip him of the victory as part of the sport’s new disqualification policy and demote him to last place of the 32-truck field. Despite the disqualification, Chastain and Niece Motorsports responded back with vengeance during the following event at Gateway’s World Wide Technology Raceway by utilizing a fuel only pit stop to win and notch a second victory of the season along with a $50,000 bonus as part of the series’ newly formed Triple Truck Challenge. The Gateway victory along with his third victory of the season and of his career at Pocono Raceway in July were enough for Chastain and Niece Motorsports to qualify for the 2019 Truck Playoffs. 

At the start of the 2019 Truck Playoffs, Chastain finished no lower than eighth during the Round of 8 to advance to the Round of 6. Despite being involved in a late multi-truck wreck at Talladega Superspeedway in October, he earned back-to-back top-10 results during the following two events to earn a spot in the Championship 4 round and contend for the 2019 Truck title at Homestead in November. During the finale, however, Chastain finished in fourth place on the track and in the runner-up spot in the final championship standings behind Matt Crafton. To go along with a runner-up result in the final standings while achieving his first three carer victories in the series, Chastain capped off the 2019 Truck season with a pole, 10 top-five results, 19 top-10 results, 591 laps led and an average-finishing result of 8.6.

Photo by Tim Jarrold for SpeedwayMedia.com.

As Chastain moved up to compete for the 2020 Xfinity Series championship for Kaulig Racing, he also returned on a part-time basis in the Truck circuit for Niece Motorsports. He competed in eight of the first nine scheduled events amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, where his best result was a third-place effort at Homestead in June. His final start of the season occurred at Bristol in August, where he finished eighth. By then, he accumulated six top-10 results in nine starts of the season.

In 2021, Chastain, who became a full-time Cup competitor for Chip Ganassi Racing, returned to compete in four Truck events for Niece Motorsports. His first start of the season occurred at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, where he finished seventh, followed by Kansas in May, where he earned a runner-up result behind Kyle Busch. At Texas in June, Chastain initially finished third, but he was later disqualified and demoted to last place of the 36-truck field due to his truck failing post-race inspection pertaining to a throttle body. His final start of the season occurred at Nashville Superspeedway in June, where he finished 22nd.

This season, Chastain, who is a full-time Cup competitor for Trackhouse Racing, made his first Truck start of the season with Niece Motorsports at Atlanta in June, where he finished 23rd following multiple flat tire issues. After finishing 26th and 12th at Darlington Raceway and at Texas Motor Speedway, respectively, Chastain benefitted through two overtime attempts and a late incident involving teammate Carson Hocevar and Ryan Preece to notch his fourth Truck Series career victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.

Through 99 previous Truck starts, Chastain has recorded four victories, three poles, 18 top-five results, 43 top-10 results, 913 laps led and an average-finishing result of 14.7 as he pursues his first NASCAR national touring series victory at Sonoma Raceway.

Chastain is scheduled to make his 100th Camping World Truck Series career start at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday, June 11, with the event’s coverage to occur at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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