Chastain Going for Two Wins in a Row

Trackhouse Racing Photo

After Sunday night’s victory at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, Ross Chastain arrives in Chicago for the NASCAR Cup Series’ inaugural street race looking to make it two wins in a row as well as make a little history.

He’d like nothing better than to park his No. 1 UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Chevrolet in victory lane and let those images and videos live forever in the history books. 

“How cool would that be,” laughed Chastain. “Everyone remembers Jeff Gordon winning the first Brickyard 400. I’d love to be the driver that wins the first street race in Chicago.”

It won’t be easy.

The Chicago Street Course is a 12-turn, 2.2-mile track that takes the series down Lake Shore Drive and along Lake Michigan. Jamming 37 Cup cars on the streets of Chicago is going to make for some interesting race moments to the say the least.

While the racing is an unknown, the images from the track will feature many of the familiar sites of Chicago. Just like Chastain’s Chevrolet. 

His car will carry the traditional AdventHealth paint scheme, but for this race the hood is adorned with UChicago Medicine AdventHealth facilities. The two organizations launched a joint venture to provide academic medicine to the western Chicago suburbs. 

Chastain will visit two UChicago Medicine AdventHealth facilities on Friday afternoon – UChicago Medicine AdventHealth Bolingbrook and UChicago Medicine AdventHealth La Grange. UChicago Medicine AdventHealth is also the Official Health Care Provider of the Chicago Street Course. 

Sunday’s race marks AdventHealth’s sixth and final race of the 2023 season. The Altamonte Springs, Fla., company first partnered with Chastain in 2020 when he was a part-time driver in the Cup Series. 

“AdventhHealth has been a huge supporter of my career and I’d love to repay that support with a win in Chicago,” said Chastain. “Without their backing I don’t know where I would be today. I have gotten to know a lot of people across the country with AdventHealth and really appreciate our relationship.”

A win Sunday in the historic Chicago race will surely draw the emotional reaction from Chastain and his Trackhouse Racing teammates just as it did Sunday night when the team celebrated at Nashville.

It capped a stellar weekend that saw Chastain earn his first pole award on Saturday and then he then led 99 laps Sunday in route to his third career victory. The win earned Chastain a spot in the playoffs that begin on Sept. 3 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

Each victory in the nine remaining regular season races will add to his playoff points that he hopes will propel him to the championship race in Phoenix on Nov.5. 

NBC will broadcast Sunday’s street race at 5:30 p.m. EDT. Chastain’s No. 1 car will carry the UChicago Medicine AdventHealth in-car camera during the broadcast.

For a watermelon farmer, what’s it going to be like to drive through the city of Chicago in a race car?

“It’s going to be new, it’s totally different. Not like the roads in Alva, for sure. It’s a way to move the needle with our sport. I think over three-quarters of the tickets already sold are new fans, and I’m sure a lot of people are just going to walk-up when they hear the engines fire up. I think there’s signs all over town so they’ll at least know about it. And then when we go roaring down through there, there are going to be so many new fans. I’m bought-in. It doesn’t matter, for me, how my personal race goes or my weekend goes. I could very easily drive it into the tire barriers about every corner if I’m not careful. I’ve done that on the simulator quite a bit. You make the brake zone by just a few feet and there’s no run-off. Yes, I want points and I want to win, but I’m more looking at it from the big picture of us as a whole and if it elevates all of us, it’ll pay off for me in the long run.”

Can you give us a sense of perspective on Chicago? You’re going to have 50 minutes of practice, but a lot of people expect that there will be multiple cautions potentially in the practice session. When you get in the car for track activity at Chicago, how nerve racking is it?

“That’s NASCAR racing, that’s every week. That’s what’s so cool about this series and this level is that there’s so much pressure involved with everything. I do wish that we did focus more on the cool factor of driving the car and how on-edge we are. You’ve seen a champion of our sport spin out in practice. If you watch the in-car, it looks innocent all the way to the point that it snaps. We’re all on that edge and we’re fighting that every lap. We have no idea at Chicago. They’ve repaved some, but we’ve all driven on repaved roads – sometimes it’s worse than it used to be. So I have no idea what to expect, but yeah when we go out, it’s going to be who can learn the fastest. We’re all logging laps in our simulators, but until you actually get on the surface – we don’t even have the most accurate renderings in for the walls because it’s going to be evolving as they put them in. A big ask of the operations team building the track because they’re just figuring it out as they go.”

Chastain Notes 

  • 2023 marks Chastain’s third full-time Cup Series season. The Chevrolet driver’s first Cup Series start occurred in 2017. 
  • In 2022, Chastain won his first career Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on March 27 and his second at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on April 24. 
  • The Chevrolet driver finished second in the season ending championshipstandings.
  • Voted 2022 National Motorsports Press Association’s Driver of the Year.
  • Known for the “Hail Melon” move at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway that has garnered over 225 million views and 1.2B impressions.
  • Moose car from Martinsville topped all diecasts in sales for 2022.
  • Chastain owns 199 Xfinity Series starts with two wins (Las Vegas in Sept. 2018, and Daytona in July 2019), 23 top-five and 49 top-10 finishes. 
  • The Florida native has 106 Craftsman Truck Series starts with four wins, three earned in 2019, and one in 2022 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, 21 top-five and 47 top-10 finishes. 
  • Chastain joined Trackhouse Racing for the 2022 season after Chip Ganassi Racing was acquired last off season by Justin Marks.
  • Chastain has driven for Premium Motorsports, Spire Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing in the Cup Series before his first full-time season in 2021.

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