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NASCAR Xfinity: Chip Ganassi Racing pulls out

LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 15: Ross Chastain, driver of the #42 DC Solar Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series DC Solar 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Chip Ganassi Racing is shuttering its NASCAR Xfinity Series program for the 2019 season, leaving Ross Chastain without a series ride with little more than a month before the season-opening race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 16. The closure is a result of FBI raids of DC Solar’s California headquarters and the home of its CEO, Jeff Carpoff, in December.

Prior to the raids of its sponsor, CGR had announced that Ross Chastain would drive its No. 42 Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series full-time in 2019 with primary sponsorship from DC Solar for all 33 races. But the raids left DC Solar’s ability to carry out its contractual obligations as the team’s sponsor in question.

“This was a difficult decision for me to make, and it comes with much anguish as this is a championship-caliber team, having won six races and finished second in the owners’ championship — and more importantly because it affects a number of good people’s livelihoods,” CGR owner Chip Ganassi said, as quoted in an Autoweek article. “Running a car without proper funding is difficult to do.”

DC Solar also was slated to be a primary sponsor on Kyle Larson’s No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing entry in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for some races in 2019, but CGR plans to still enter the No. 42 Cup Series car in all 36 Cup Series races, in addition to the No. 1 that will be driven by Kurt Busch.

Chastain left JD Motorsports at the end of the 2018 Xfinity Series season to join Chip Ganassi Racing on a full-time basis. He drove the No. 4 JD Motorsports Chevrolet in 30 of the 33 races in 2018, but team owner Johnny Davis let him out of team obligations for three races last season to drive the No. 42 entry. Chastain’s three races with CGR in 2018 included a win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a runner-up finish at Richmond (Va.) Raceway and a pole at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

Larson, Chastain, Justin Marks and John Hunter Nemechek shared driving duties of the No. 42 Xfinity Series entry last season, combining for six wins.

Chastain drove a car for Premium Motorsports in 34 Cup Series races last season. He has a deal to continue as a Cup Series driver with that team in 2019.

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Posted by on January 4, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. 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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