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Nothing gets people’s attention like a strong run on the track.
For Ross Chastain, Saturday’s Active Pest Control 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway gave him and his small team some time in the spotlight after finishing 10th in the 130-lap race.
Earning team owner Jeff Bolen’s first top-10 finish in 23 Camping World Truck Series efforts, Chastain was thankful to have a second shot in the No. 66 after crashing out of Daytona on Lap 1.
“[Bolen] asked me after Daytona, he said ‘I got good news and bad news: we have a torn-up truck, but do you want to drive it in Atlanta? We can go redeem ourselves,” Chastain said. “I can’t thank him enough for giving me a second chance. It’s so cool to see the smiles on their faces. To bring this unsponsored truck home clean and in 10th.”
Recently piloted full-time by Jordan Anderson in 2016, the unsponsored Chevrolet entry was a surprise ride to pop up in the top 15 throughout the night. Despite the fun day of racing, Chastain is hoping the team can find a full-time driver to take over the truck.
“Hopefully this means someone will come into this truck and drive it,” he said. “I’ve got enough on my plate with the [XFINITY] car.”
Running full-time with JD Motorsports in the XFINITY Series, Chastain makes his main objective clear.
“That’s where the focus is,” he said. “I want somebody to come and I want to help them get up to speed it this thing. Somebody could do big things in this truck. I’m trying to help Jeff look for the right person to do that.”
In the big picture, how can a top 10 help the team’s efforts in finding that driver? It certainly can’t hurt.
“Hopefully somebody saw this performance,” he continued. “Even though we got 10th right at the end, we ran up there in the top 10 earlier in the race. There were just two guys working on this thing all winter. All in all, a great day.”
Known as a small-team driver, one would expect Chastain to relish in roles like this to help another team to make it to the front. For the 24-year-old, he is open to future drives in the No. 66.
“I’ll do whatever Jeff wants me to,” he said. “I’ll help him whenever I can. The focus is the No. 4 car, everything is pushing toward that. I have no help to get anything on the side of this truck unfortunately. I wish I did. I wish I could help them out, but I can’t. Ill drive it if he needs me to but I think, after tonight, somebody else is going to be in this thing and for a good reason.”