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Ross Chastain: ‘I just want to race’

Marty Snider, Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton break down Kyle Busch's win at Fontana and what it means both for this season and Busch's legacy after ensuring a 19th straight year with a victory.

Ross Chastain has become the latest NASCAR driver to express an interest in racing in the IndyCar Series.

Chastain recently had a brief conversation with IndyCar driver Conor Daly about racing in the open-wheel series. They met while driving Chevrolet simulators. Daly ran the Daytona 500 last month, finishing 29th after a series of problems.

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“Our Cup simulator is right next to the Chevy IndyCar simulator, so I pass those guys weekly now,” Chastain said. “I just had some genuine questions. I wouldn’t even know where to start. I didn’t know what to ask him. He gave me a lot of advice, some definitely probably turned me away from it, but some was definitely attainable one day.

“But I’m focused on Cup racing. If something ever came about where I could explore other racing -- if it’s sports cars, other race tracks, other ways of racing cars.

“I just want to race.”

Former Cup champion Kyle Larson is scheduled to race in the 2024 Indianapolis 500 in a car co-owned by McLaren Racing and Hendrick Motorsports, Larson’s NASCAR team.

Chastain’s motorsports profile was lifted considerably last year as he won two Cup races for Trackhouse Racing and finished second in Cup points. He has signed an extension with Trackhouse.

Trackhouse owner Justin Marks has expressed interest in being involved in other racing series and hasn’t ruled out the possibility of entering IndyCar as an owner.

“Justin and I have a love for racing,” Chastain said. “So if we can both go and enjoy it -- you see him off running Trans-Am races. ... We share that love for driving cars to the limit. I don’t care if it has fenders or no fenders, if it has ABS or drum brakes. I want to go race the dirt track 30 miles from where I grew up that I never got to race at.

“I feel like right now I can put myself in more opportunities than I’ve ever been able to to race, whether it’s last night in the truck race, some Xfinity races here and there. My goal is Cup racing and my goal is circle-track NASCAR racing, but exploring the horizons of other stuff is an inner desire I have. I love racing. I love the art of it.”