Local NASCAR driver racing Xfinity Series at Daytona


For Ross Chastain, the start of the NASCAR season is so close he can taste it!

“We’re here! It’s Daytona time. It’s crazy to think that it’s already back again,”

This weekend, you’ll recognize his watermelon car in saturday’s Xfinity Series – formerly called the Nationwide Series – at Daytona International Speedway.

“I’ve done seven races,” Chastain said, referring to the Xfinity Series, “and that’s going to be the next building block for my career to hopefully make it to sprint cup.”

Chastain’s career is taking off. This week, however, he showed us where it all started: Three Palms Speedway in Punta Gorda. Chastain was just 12 years old.

“This is the first race track that I ever learned on,” he said. “It’s kind of cool to come back here and see it. I wrecked there, I wrecked there, I wrecked there, I wrecked HARD over there,” Chastain said as he pointed around the track, “got spun out hard over there one time going for the win.”

In his first race, he borrowed a truck from a guy his dad used to race against. Chastain says what started as a hobby, grew into much more.

“Just kept moving up. We try not to stay still in one series or one division too long,” he said.

Last year he raced in the truck series at Daytona.

“Last February,” Chastain said with a laugh, “(I) was trying a little too hard and pushed somebody to the lead and then was trying to do it again with someone else to get up there,” he recalled, “and just gave a little too hard of a bump at the wrong time.” Chastain caused a wreck that took out much of the field.

“I apologized to everybody that I tore up in that and move on and I learned something.”

Chastain’s end goal is to race in the Sprint Cup Series on Sundays. By using the Xfinity races to learn, he knows it’s only a matter of time until he gets there.

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