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Ross Chastain running partial Truck Series season for Niece Motorsports

Ross Chastain will return to Niece Motorsports for a partial Craftsman Truck Series season while leading an all-star lineup.

Chastain will make five starts in the No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado while sharing the entry with Johnny Sauter, Kaden Honeycutt and Connor Mosack. Veteran crew chief Phil Gould will lead the effort.

Chastain’s schedule will start with Circuit of the Americas in March. He will return to the No. 45 at Darlington in May, North Wilkesboro in May, Pocono in July and Indianapolis Raceway Park in August.

“I love coming to race in the Truck Series,” Chastain said in a press release. “I’m thankful to Al Niece and everyone at Niece Motorsports for allowing me to get behind the wheel of these Chevrolets.

“We’re going to do our best to go out and win races and compete for an Owner’s Championship. It would mean a lot to me to be able to bring that home to Al Niece.”

Chastain had made 51 starts for Niece Motorsports since the 2018 Truck Series season. This includes 2019 when he ran full-time, won three races and finished second in the championship standings. Chastain also won at Charlotte with Niece in 2022.

Sauter, the 2016 Truck Series champion, will start the schedule. He will drive the No. 45 Chevrolet Feb. 16 at Daytona. Niece Motorsports did not announce the rest of the driver schedule.

Sauter has made 324 starts in Truck and has celebrated 24 wins. This includes a career-high six wins in 2018 when he finished fourth in the championship standings.

Honeycutt has made 20 starts in Truck, one with Niece Motorsports. He has four top-10 finishes as a part-time driver. Mosack has two Truck starts, both in 2022.

“Ross means a lot to our organization and we’re appreciative that he continues to come back and race with us,” said Niece Motorsports General Manager Cody Efaw in a statement.

“We’re also excited about the young talent we’ll have behind the wheel this season with Kaden Honeycutt and Connor Mosack. They’ve shown a lot of talent and we’re hopeful that we can help them polish that with more time behind the wheel.”

The Friday announcements continued with Zane Smith. The 2022 Truck champion will make his return to the series on a part-time basis. Smith will make four starts in the No. 91 McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet Silverado while running full-time in Cup in the No. 71 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.

Smith’s first start will be March 1 at Las Vegas. He will return to the No. 91 March 16 at Bristol, April 5 at Texas and May 4 at Kansas. Instacoat Premium Products will be Smith’s primary partner for three races.