Ross Chastain will finally get an opportunity next season to compete full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series after signing a deal to join Chip Ganassi Racing.
The 27-year-old, will take over the driving duties of Ganassi’s No. 42 Chevrolet in 2021, as an official announcement of Chastain’s move is expected later on Monday multiple sources said.
Chastain will replace veteran Matt Kenseth, who stepped into the car in May to replace former driver Kyle Larson, who was fired in April for using a racial slur during the broadcast of an iRacing event and remains indefinitely suspended by NASCAR. This season, Chastain has been competing full-time in the Xfinity Series with Kaulig Racing. He has yet to win, but advanced to the series playoffs and is ranked eighth in the series standings.
He finished second in last Friday night’s race at Bristol, which marked his fifth runner-up finish of the 2020 season. Following the race on Friday night, Chastain was asked whether he would drive the No. 42 if the opportunity arose.
“Are you kidding me? Of course,” he said.
“Everyone in this whole entire garage would, yeah. I mean yeah who wouldn’t? Everyone would.”
In his NASCAR career, Chastain owns a pair of wins in the Xfinity Series and three in Trucks. He also ran three Xfinity races in the 2018 season with CGR, winning at Las Vegas. He was also scheduled to run the full Xfinity season for Ganassi in 2019, but the deal fell apart in the offseason when the sponsor became embroiled in legal issues.
Chastain competed in Cup, Xfinity and Truck races in 2019 – and contended for the Truck title – with other teams but continued to maintain his relationship with the Ganassi organisation.
In January, CGR announced plans to help field Chastain in a Cup car in both the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600 this season. He finished 25th and 21st, respectively, in the races.