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The heat will be on Ross Chastain Saturday at Texas

Eddie Gossage discusses the upcoming NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway, how the restart and schedule has impacted racing, rivalries between drivers and protocols for fans returning to the track.

If he wasn’t a race car driver, Ross Chastain might consider becoming a fireman: he likes the heat of the action.

And Chastain will get plenty of heat Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway as he competes in the Xfinity Series race that afternoon and then competes a few hours later in the Truck Series race that evening.

According to, Chastain and the rest of the Xfinity field will take the green flag shortly after 3 pm ET at a temperature of 93 degrees under mostly sunny skies and with 0% chance of precipitation.

The race is scheduled for 200 laps (300 miles) around the 1.5-mile oval. He’ll start eighth in the 37-car field, driving for Kaulig Racing. The race airs at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Then, at 8 p.m. ET, Chastain will climb into a truck – with the temperature at 90 degrees – and roll off from the 24th position for 167-lap (250.5-mile) race.

That’s 550.5 miles Chastain plans on completing.

The only driver who will have an even bigger meal on his plate, so to speak, is Kyle Busch, who will not only run with Chastain in the Xfinity and Truck Series races (it will be Busch’s final Truck start of the season), as well as Sunday’s 500-mile Cup race.

Chastain already has his cooldown method in mind.

“That window between those two races, just trying to get cooled down first of all (will be key),” he said. “These Xfinity cars are hot temperature-wise inside. You come out of them and I feel like I’m cooked every week. So getting cooled down, getting some fluids in me and hopefully to be able to keep fluids in me throughout the whole race, and then to jump into the truck just a few hours later.”

Chastain has been busy this season. Saturday will be his 16th start in the Xfinity Series. The Kaulig Racing driver is ranked fourth in the standings, 60 points behind series leader Chase Briscoe.

Saturday also marks Chastain’s seventh start in the Truck Series this season for Niece Motorsports. He did not compete last week at Kentucky, the first Truck race he’s missed since 2018.

“I try to stay busy on track and race as much as I can,” said Chastain, who also has six Cup starts this season having subbed three times for Ryan Newman as he recovered from his crash in the season-opening Daytona 500.

Add those numbers up and by the end of Saturday’s Truck race, Chastain will have made 29 starts across all three of NASCAR’s premier series this season.

“I love the challenge,” Chastain said of taking part in multiple races on the same weekend. “I like how tired I’ll be Saturday night as we get on the plane and come home.

“I’m going to sleep good Saturday night, but hopefully it’ll be after a productive day.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski