NASCAR driver Ross Chastain likes to keep busy, especially when he visits Daytona International Speedway. In February, Chastain raced – and finished in the top 13 – in all three of NASCAR’s national series. This week, he got an early start when he visited Tampa on Monday to promote both Friday night’s Circle K Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola, a NASCAR Xfinity Series race, and Saturday’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
The 26-year-old Chastain, who will wheel the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro Friday night and a Premium Motorsports Chevrolet on Saturday night, is from Alva, Florida – just east of Fort Myers. While visiting Tampa television and radio stations during the day, the expected topic of Coke Zero Sugar 400 Weekend was discussed. But there was an even more popular topic: watermelons. Chastain, an eighth-generation watermelon farmer who is known as ‘The Watermelon Man,’ picked out and smashed watermelons with media members.
Later Monday evening, he and Daytona International Speedway president Chip Wile took some watermelon to share with the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House, St. Petersburg East House. While there, they raced handmade wooden toys provided by Toymakers with the families and participated in a question-and-answer session.
“(The Ronald McDonald House) is something I’ve never experienced before,” said Chastain. “This will not be my last time visiting one of these houses and seeing the kids.”