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NASCAR Truck: Ross Chastain changes championship classification

during the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Digital Ally 250 at Kansas Speedway on May 10, 2019 in Kansas City, Kansas.

By AMANDA VINCENT

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series team Niece Motorsports announced Tuesday that driver Ross Chastain has shifted his championship eligibility from the NASCAR Xfinity Series to the Truck Series this year, making him eligible for the 2019 Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship.

“After much consideration and many conversations, I’ve decided to pursue championship points in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, effective immediately,” Chastain said.

To this point in the 2019 NASCAR season, Chastain has competed in all races in all three of NASCAR’s national series (Truck, Xfinity and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup). He was collecting championship points in the Xfinity Series.

The Truck Series races at Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth on Friday night, and Chastain will be behind the wheel of the No. 38 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet. He drove the No. 45 Niece entry in the previous eight races this season. He won earlier this year at Kansas Speedway near Kansas Speedway, but that win won’t get him into the Truck Series playoffs, as he was classified as an Xfinity Series driver at the time. He also doesn’t have the benefit of Truck Series points from the first eight races of the season, as he just became classified as a Truck Series championship-eligible driver. As a result, Chastain will need to win another race and get inside the top-20 of the championship points standings within the remainder of the regular season (eight races) to make the Truck Series eight-driver, seven-race playoffs.

“I know it won’t be easy, but I believe this team is capable of making the playoffs and competing for a championship with Ross,” Niece Motorsports owner Al Niece said. “Ross, Phil, Cody and every single employee at this team have worked incredibly hard to continue to advance this program. We are proud to bring trucks capable of winning to the race track. It takes a lot of work to get there, and we don’t take it lightly. We’re ready to see what the next eight races bring.”

Chastain would not have been allowed to compete in Friday night’s Truck Series race at Texas and the next two races at Iowa Speedway in Newton and Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis had he not changed his championship eligibility to the Truck Series, as those races comprise the the series’ new three-race “Triple Truck Challenge” program, prohibiting regulars in the other two nationals series from competing.

“This shift will allow me to be in the truck race this weekend in Texas, and I’m grateful to everyone at Niece Motorsports for giving me this opportunity,” Chastain said.

Chastain also is on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Michigan International Speedway near Brooklyn. He is not on the entry list, though, for Sunday’s Cup Series race at MIS. He plans to continue contesting Xfinity Series races for JD Motorsports and/or Kaulig Racing when opportunities to do so present themselves.

“I’m thankful to everyone at Johnny Davis Motorsports and Kaulig Racing for their efforts this year,” Chastain said. “I will continue to run races for each organization where sponsorship for 2019 has been solidified.”

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Posted by on June 4, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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