Chastain Switches Gears, To Chase Truck Title

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Ross Chastain had decided to forgo earning points in the NASCAR Xfinity Series to chase the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series title. (NASCAR Photo)
Ross Chastain had decided to forgo earning points in the NASCAR Xfinity Series to chase the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series title. (NASCAR Photo)

ALVA, Fla. – Ross Chastain has switched gears, announcing he will now pursue the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship with Niece Motorsports.

Chastain, who has competed in 34 events in NASCAR national competition this year, initially declared for NASCAR Xfinity Series points. However, after a strong start to the Truck Series season that saw him earn his first Truck Series win at Kansas Speedway, he has decided to adjust his plans.

The Florida native is the first driver since NASCAR began requiring drivers to declare for points in a single series to switch divisions mid-season.

“After much consideration and many conversations, I’ve decided to pursue championship points in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series, effective immediately,” said Chastain “My Niece Motorsports team has been very fast all year, and we have a tall order ahead of us to get both in the top 20 in points and win a race before the playoffs start. But that’s a mountain we’re willing to climb. This shift will allow me to be in the truck race this weekend in Texas, and I’m grateful to everyone at Niece Motorsports for giving me this opportunity.”

Chastain and his Niece Motorsports team must win again between now and the end of the regular season (Aug. 10) in order to be playoff eligible He must also be inside the top-10 in series points. The 26-year-old’s Kansas Speedway win did not lock him into the Truck Series Playoffs because he was competing for Xfinity Series points at the time.

Chastain will compete at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend in the No. 38 Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports. He will not drive in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this weekend at Michigan Int’l Speedway, which will be the first missed Chastain has missed in any of NASCAR’s top divisions this year.

Driving a split schedule for JD Motorsports and Kaulig Racing, Chastain sits 13th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series rankings prior to changing his points declaration.

“I’m thankful to everyone at Johnny Davis Motorsports and Kaulig Racing for their efforts this year,” said Chastain. “I will continue to run races for each organization where sponsorship for 2019 has been solidified. We have some wonderful partners at both organizations, and I’m fortunate they stand behind my decision, as well. I’m still going to go out and fight as hard as I can for wins.”