Ross Chastain will drive the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019, the race team announced Thursday.
“I’m an eighth-generation farmer from Florida who was fortunate enough to get a shot in top-flight equipment,” Chastain said. "I’m incredibly grateful to everyone, especially my family, who helped me get to this point. I’ve had a great run with Johnny Davis Motorsports and it’s obvious I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without Johnny’s support. I have been racing everything that I can since breaking into NASCAR seven years ago. Until DC Solar and Chip gave me a shot in Darlington, nobody knew who I was. I want to remain humble. I enjoy being the underdog. Excited or thrilled doesn’t begin to capture how I feel about joining CGR full time. I’m eager to take full advantage of the opportunity in front of me. The obvious goal is to win races, compete for an Xfinity Series Championship and represent DC Solar to the best of my ability.”
Chastain has been a full-time competitor in the Xfinity Series for four seasons, primarily as a driver for JD Motorsports. He got a shot to drive the No. 42 for CGR in three races this season, for which Johnny Davis released him from his obligations with his team to do so. In those three races, Chastain posted a win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and a runner-up finish at Richmond Raceway in Virginia. He also won a pole and dominated the race at Darlington Raceway from behind the wheel of the No. 42 before being involved in an on-track incident with Kevin Harvick.
"When we first talked about putting Ross in the car this year, this was something that Jeff and Paulette [Carpoff, DC Solar founders] felt strongly about, and Ross made the most of the opportunity running well in all three races and bringing home a win and a runner-up finish,” CGR owner Chip Ganassi said. "We are looking forward to him continuing that success in 2019 and competing for his first NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship.”
The win at Las Vegas secured Chastain a berth in the 2018 Xfinity Series playoffs, but he has since been eliminated from championship contention. Chastain is one of three drivers to win in the No. 42 car this season, the other two being Kyle Larson and John Hunter Nemechek. The No. 42 car competes full-time in the Xfinity Series. Nemechek has been in the car the most this season, driving it in nearly half of the races. Larson, though, has the most wins from behind the wheel of the No. 42 in 2018, winning four times in six races.
Chastain has competed in 137 Xfinity Series races over the course of his career, so far. Including his brief-to-date tenure in the No. 42 car, he has four-career top-fives and 15 top-10 finishes. Chastain also has been running most of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races this year for Premium Motorsports. His best Cup Series race finish, to date, is an 18th at Texas Motor Speedway.