“Don’t Know What I Was Doing” – Ross Chastain Dissects His Late Model Run With a Shocking NASCAR Claim

Published 01/19/2024, 11:15 PM EST

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In mid-January 2024, the grapevine buzzed with the news that Ross Chastain was dipping his toes into pro-late model racing. Chastain inked a deal to steer the No. 25 Rackley W.A.R. Pro Late Model in the ‘Protect Your Melon—Buckle Up SpeedFest’ at Crisp Motorsports Park. But after the qualifiers, he seemed to be in a bit of a pickle, mulling over his decision to be there. Ross Chastain even hinted that his NASCAR experience might be throwing a wrench in his late-model racing performance.

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Ross Chastain is a seasoned pro with big, beefy NASCAR cars

During the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Pro Late Model qualifying session, Hudson Bulger clocked the fastest lap at 15.965 seconds, but Ross Chastain trailed, landing in fifth place. It was quite a sight to see Chastain spin off into the patch at Watermelon Capital Speedway during practice.

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Later, in a chat with Matt Weaver, Ross Chastain shared his track experience. He said, “I was told a long time ago, incredible outside the race car and to be memorable inside of it. As I was spinning, I was laughing. I know there’s no wall right up. Just spinning out in the field, and I am like ‘This is just classic.’ Second run of the day. Right. And here I am getting all dirty tearing up the nose and I was like okay. But they were actually working, they were great,” he said.

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But when it came down to brass tacks, Chastain also admitted, “I have no idea. I literally don’t know what I was doing. I was like- driving down the straight away thinking how hard do I push the brake? When do I go to throttle? Like, I’m happy to do this. If I think about it. It’s all wrong. These cars are so different there, what I’m used to a big heavy NASCAR cars. It turns way better. It does everything better than anything I’ve driven for you. I’m a little behind. I am a little delayed, and I’m definitely not underdriving.”

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Ross Chastain cut his racing teeth on Late Models in Florida before his NASCAR journey, but it had been over ten years since he last raced a Pro Late Model. While the itch to get back in a Late-Model car was always there, he’d been laser-focused on honing his NASCAR skills.

Justin Marks’ driver has always had a soft spot for late-model racing

Back when he was just revving up his NASCAR career, Ross Chastain faced a fork in the road. He had to weigh his options: pour his heart and resources into NASCAR or chase glory in late-model racing. It was a head-scratcher for him, as late models were a big part of his childhood dreams. He got his feet wet in them, even nabbing wins at New Smyrna, considering there were three Late Model classes during Speedweeks at New Smyrna back then.

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Ross Chastain Gives Media a 10-Word Lecture About Him as He Gets Carried Away With New $127 Bn Sponsor’s Goods

Fast forward to now, and SpeedFest is like coming home for Ross Chastain. He’s cruising at the top of his game with four Cup Series victories in the last two seasons. Plus, he’s leveraging his high-profile status to shine a spotlight on the race and his collaboration with the Georgia Office of Highway Safety.

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

892Articles

One take at a time

Controversies, gossip, and breakneck speeds? Count me in! While F1 has its charm, NASCAR helps me relive those "Roadrash" gaming days. My favorite among the drivers has to be Tyler Reddick. The 23XI Racing pilot is not only likable but also a complete beast when he is on track, more specifically, road courses.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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