Ross Chastain joins Kaulig Racing for three-race Xfinity deal; returns to JD Motorsports
Ross Chastain’s Xfinity schedule has filled out with a three-race deal with Kaulig Racing and a 30-race deal with JD Motorsports.
Chastain will drive the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet in the Feb. 16 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. Chastain will be sponsored by Nutrien Ag Solutions at Daytona, Chicagoland Speedway (June 29) and the playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway (Nov. 2).
Nutrien Ag Solutions, an agricultural retailer of crop inputs and solutions, was intended to be a sponsor of Chastain at Chip Ganassi Racing.
Other than the three races with Kaulig Racing, Chastain will compete for JD Motorsports in the No. 4 Chevrolet the rest of the season.
Chastain was set to compete full-time for CGR this season before it shut down its Xfinity operation due to lack of sponsorship. That was a result of the Dec. 18 raids by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the California headquarters of DC Solar, Ganassi’s primary sponsor, and the home of Jeffrey Carpoff, the company’s CEO.
Chastain remains under contract with Ganassi.
“It has been awhile in the making, with a group of folks I didn’t have much to do with before,” Chastain said. “But Nutrien (Ag Solutions) is an agriculture company, so they knew my background (as a watermelon farmer). They felt like I would be a good fit for Nutrien (Ag Solutions).”
Chastain later added: “When I got into the Xfinity Series with Jimmy Dick and Viva (Auto Group), I had a Watermelon car. We were trying to figure out how to market it and our hashtag was the #AGcar.
“That was my goal coming into the series was to figure out a way to have an agriculture-based race car. This is a really big step in that direction. It goes with everything I believe in about outside the race car, right? Feeding the world, man. Nutrien (Ag Solutions), they’re stepping up to the plate world-wide. It’s incredible what they’re doing.”
Kaulig first fielded the No. 10 in the last year’s Xfinity race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Austin Dillon behind the wheel.
Chastain, who said two weeks ago that he would declare for points in the Xfinity Series, will be teammates with Justin Haley in his three races. Haley, a rookie, will drive the No. 11 full-time for Kaulig Racing.
“Been working with Justin quite a bit trying to get up to speed on everything they have going on and see what he thinks about stuff,” Chastain said. “Just trying to fit in and do my job. (Team owner) Matt (Kaulig) wants to run good and he wants to win. And that’s what I want to do with him. That’s my goal if I got in a wheelbarrow.”
While he will collect points in Xfinity, Chastain has other NASCAR plans. He’s already set to run full-time in Cup with Premium Motorsports in addition to running select races in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series with Niece Motorsports in the No. 45.
He will step into the ride that former Kaulig Racing driver Blake Koch was announced as taking in December. A press release cited Koch’s desire to focus on overseeing the success of his company, Filter Time.
Chastain will have sponsorship from RM Parks, Inc, EZ Angus Ranch and Mc Divitt Sign Company during all five West Coast races this season.
Today also marks the first of a two-day organizational test for Cup and Xfinity teams at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Chastain has been tapped by Chevrolet to drive a wheel-force car that is designed to collect data and information.
“I’m just confident in what I’m doing now and what Chevrolet is affording me the opportunities to do to get better as a race car driver are head and shoulders above what I’ve ever been able to do to prepare,” Chastain said. “I’ve never raced between Homestead and Daytona since I got into NASCAR. ... Not that I’ve raced anything this year, but I’ve been putting in a lot of work with Chevrolet. So grateful to them for that.”