Ross Chastain is free to explore other rides in NASCAR. That’s because his original ride for 2019 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series has unexpectedly shut their doors. Chip Ganassi Racing appears to be losing the DC Solar funding which in turn forced them to fold the No. 42 Chevrolet team in the series. That leaves Chastain without a ride.
While some would say, just go back to JD Motorsports again, well he can’t. JDM filled his seat. With Roush Fenway Racing closing up shop in the series too and almost every other ride filled, what are Chastain’s best options?
He has a potential ride on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series side but that’s with underfunded team. That won’t gain him the exposure that a ride like CGR would have given him in the XFINITY Series.
To me, his best options now are to find enough money to secure a seat with JR Motorsports. They have already announced that one of their cars will be like an “all-star” car and that they’ll have multiple drivers race it. As of now, the ride appears to be the No. 9 Chevrolet, the same one Tyler Reddick won the championship with this past season and William Byron won in 2017. That’s a top ride. Even if Chastain is part-time, what better ride is out there?
In terms of the series’ potential, this is a big blow. I wrote at the end of last year how the series is rising and should have one of the best years ever in 2019. Now, they’ve lost two organizations in two days and it’s not like either are bottom feeders. These are two Cup Series teams pulling out. These are two teams that historically are two of the better organization in the series in general.
For example, the CGR ride won six times last season alone. It finished second in the owners standings. This ride in fact has won 13 times the past three seasons. RFR has won five championships with Greg Biffle (2002), Carl Edwards (2007), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2011 and 2012), and Chris Buescher (2015). Also, they’ve won 137 times with 501 top five finishes and 863 top 10’s in 1,698 starts.
These two organizations won’t be on the grid in 2019. If these two organizations are struggling with sponsorships, that’s a problem.
There are plenty of reasons on why this is happening and they need fixed before it’s too late.