“This One’s Special” – Ross Chastain Takes the “Hail Melon” Status to the Next Level With New $18.41-Billion Sponsor

Published 09/11/2023, 2:31 PM EDT

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Few Cup Series drivers are as controversial as Ross Chastain. With his set of idiosyncrasies, the Trackhouse Racing star has witnessed a lot of turmoil this year. From being hailed as one of the polarizing characters and facing the wrath of Rick Hendrick to winning in Nashville to signing a sponsorship deal with the global brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, Chastain has had a roller-coaster ride in the 2023 Cup Series season.

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Amidst it all, the #1 Chevrolet has kept on the momentum, notching a top 5 finish in Darlington. He sits comfortably above the elimination line for the round of 12 and will be hoping for a repeat of last year by entering the Championship 4. However, Chastain has made sure that his achievements and contributions are not restricted to the world of NASCAR, as he embarks on a unique journey with his primary sponsor.

Ross Chastain gets the support of his team for a noble cause

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With the announcement of Kevin Harvick‘s departure from the world of professional racing at the end of the 2023 season, the #4 driver’s primary sponsor, Anheuser-Busch, also decided to retract its deal with Stewart-Haas Racing camp and find another driver to sponsor for the upcoming season.

While a series of names cropped up, it was Ross Chastain who landed the coveted sponsorship deal. Nevertheless, apart from the backing of NASCAR’s official beer, the Watermelon Man has also gained the support of the Kubota Corporations, the primary partner of the team for the 2023 season. Apart from vowing their allegiance to Trackhouse Racing, Kubota Corporation also lends its helping hands to veteran farmers.

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Having said that, it seems that the driver, along with the organization, was able to collaborate together for a greater cause and donate farming equipment to the veteran farmers, given the agricultural roots of the driver. Furthermore, in this noble cause, the Chevrolet driver also gained the support of his Trackhouse Racing team.  

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In an interview with Fronstretch media, Chastain expressed, “Listening to all the other ideas and they finally asked what we would like and my dad without me even responding said, agriculture. Something in farming that’s what we want and I agree. We have obviously onboarded a lot of great partners, but this one’s special. This is what y’all see the watermelon you hear me talk about agriculture.”

“This is a company that is way bigger than me but we have a unique platform here in NASCAR and to partner like this event wasn’t a Trackhouse event, this was a farmer-better coalition, that we are spotlighting at the NASCAR race and we can grow this and get more veterans to sign up. It started with a simple ask of my dad Trackhouse took it around with it,” Chastain added.

 

The Trackhouse Racing driver reveals his plans for the playoffs

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Nonetheless, since his last victory at Nashville in the regular season, the Melon Man has assuredly mellowed down on the NASCAR tracks, as he kept himself low and steered clear of any unnecessary contacts.

Recently, Chastain was asked by veteran journalist Bob Pockrass if he had a new “Hail Melon” trick for this year. He responded, “Nothing up these sleeves, nothing, [no] trick. We’ll just go and try to scrap up as many points as we can each round and transfer through – you know we can win one of these or a few of these. It’s okay to win, somebody’s got to. No Hail Melon, just go beat them.”

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Nevertheless, with two playoff races over, it will be interesting to see whether Chastain is able to notch another victory and step forward in his hopes of earning a championship or will the hopes burst sooner than expected.

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Written by:

Ayantika Maitra

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Ayantika Maitra is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. It was initially Formula 1 that made her fall in love with the world of motorsports. But quickly, the raw and unfiltered nature of NASCAR is what led her to build an affinity for the Stock Car Racing Series.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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