Chip Ganassi Racing announced Thursday (Aug. 23) that Ross Chastain will be behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro for three NASCAR XFINITY Series races, with DC Solar sponsoring.
Chastain will compete for the team at the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 1, the DC Solar 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sept. 15 and the playoffs-opening GoBowling 250 at Richmond Raceway on Sept. 21.
“My wife Paulette and I have gotten to know Ross through some of our relationships off the track and have admired his hard work and willingness to do whatever it takes to continue progressing his racing career,” DC Solar co-founder and CEO Jeff Carpoff saidin a press release. “We appreciate and respect those qualities and when the opportunity arose for that hard-work to be recognized, we were happy to jump in and help support that effort. This strong combination of talents with both team and driver will be exciting to watch and we can’t wait to see what they can do together”.
Chastain, who is the regular driver of the No. 4 Chevy Camaro for JD Motorsports, is currently clinging to the final playoffs position at 12th in the XFINITY standings, 42 points ahead of Michael Annett. His best finish this season is fourth at the second Iowa Speedway race, and he has five top 10s in 22 races so far this season.
“We are looking forward to having Ross (Chastain) in the car for a few races this season,” CGR CEO Doug Duchart said. “To have DC Solar come on board for these races with Ross is just another testament to the support that they have for our organization and the sport of NASCAR racing.”
Chastain also has driven 22 of the 24 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races this season for Premium Motorsports in the No. 15 Chevy Camaro ZL1, with a best finish of 18th at Texas Motor Speedway.
Chastain has been a full-time driver in the XFINITY Series for the past three years, with a best points finish of 13th in 2017. Altogether, he has 128 starts in the series, with 12 top-10 finishes, 16 laps led and an average finish of 19.5.
He has also driven in 56 Camping World Truck Series races, with two poles, five top fives and 14 top 10s.
“This opportunity with DC Solar and Chip Ganassi Racing is unbelievable,” Chastain said. “I want to recognize Johnny Davis for all that he has done for my career and express how proud I am of our performance this year. I am also very thankful to grow my relationship with Jeff and Paulette Carpoff and look forward to having this opportunity in the No. 42 DC Solar Chevy in the NASCAR XFINTY Series car for these races.”
CGR’s MENCS drivers Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray have piloted the No. 42 nine times in 2018 between them, with Justin Marks driving the road courses and John Hunter Nemechek driving the majority of the schedule at 18 races.
Nemechek was scheduled to drive these three extra races as well but was unable to find sponsorship, opening the door for Chastain, the driver tweeted Thursday.
Unfortunately we were unable to sell these three races to keep myself in the @XfinityRacing car. Ross will do a good job for the team as I look forward to taking back over for the @NASCAR #playoffs to make a run for the owners championship! #nemechek42 https://t.co/2Q3OJxbhFk
— John Hunter Nemechek (@JHNemechek) August 23, 2018
The CGR No. 42 is currently sixth in the NXS owner standings with four wins, all from Larson, including last weekend’s Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
There is currently no word on who will drive the No. 4 in Chastain’s absence. The team also fields full-time efforts for Garrett Smithley and Vinnie Miller, plus a full-time No. 15 with various drivers.