‘I’m just a watermelon farmer': Ross Chastain earns first Xfinity win
Ross Chastain held off Justin Allgaier and the field in a six-lap shootout to score his first career Xfinity Series win Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Chastain, in just his second race with Chip Ganassi Racing, led 180 of 200 laps and swept every stage. He had to survive three restarts in the last 20 laps to secure the win, which came in his 132nd series start at the age of 25.
It is Chastain’s first overall NASCAR win in 215 starts across all three national series.
“Thank you all so much,” Chastain told his team over the radio. “I can’t thank you all ever in my whole life enough.”
The top five was completed by Cole Custer, Christopher Bell and Elliott Sadler.
“Holy cow. I’m just a watermelon farmer from Florida,” Chastain told NBCSN on the start-finish line. “I’m not supposed to do that. Wow. ... Man, that is a testament that anything in life is possible.”
In Victory Lane, Chastain kissed a watermelon in celebration.
Chastain usually competes for JD Motorsports. He made his CGR debut in the No. 42 two races ago at Darlington. In that race he started from the pole and led 90 laps before his chances at winning ended with a final stage incident with Kevin Harvick while battling for the lead.
Chastain has one more race scheduled with CGR next week at Richmond Raceway.
With his second-place finish, Allgaier secured the regular-season title and 15 bonus playoff points.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Ross Chastain
STAGE 2 WINNER: Ross Chastain
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Justin Allgaier earned his fifth runner-up finish of the year ... Elliott Sadler tied his best finish (fifth) since the July Daytona race ... Ryan Preece bounced back from two incidents and a speeding penalty to place sixth.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Michael Annett was eliminated in a Lap 6 crash that also involved Preece … Ryan Reed and Matt Tifft were eliminated in a crash on Lap 65 … Chase Briscoe was involved in a hard wreck with 19 laps to go when contact from Tyler Reddick sent him sliding into the inside wall on the backstretch. It resulted in his third DNF of the year and the 10th for Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 Ford … Daniel Hemric, Shane Lee and Tyler Reddick wrecked out with 11 laps to go.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “No matter what happens, if I go back to the farm tomorrow ... which I’m going to do one day after racing’s over, if I had to back tomorrow I’ll have no regrets, obviously.” - Ross Chastain to NBCSN.
NOTABLE: Four of the last 11 first-time winners were in the No. 42 with crew chief Mike Shiplett.
WHAT’S NEXT: Playoff opener in the Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 21 on NBCSN