By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
With just three races until the start of the Playoffs, Ross Chastain earned a top-10 finish at Road America. His run in the Johnsonville 180 pads his cushion over those on the outside of the Playoff grid, looking in.
In the run to the finish, Chastain had to hold his own, battling both NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars and road course ringers alike. He kept his No. 4 JD Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro SS on track, picking up positions as Brendan Gaughan, James Davison, and Justin Marks, among others, each encountered their own issues ahead of him. When the smoke cleared, Chastain climbed the hill to take the checkered flag in seventh.
Several times throughout the race, Chastain found himself in the thick of the battling. He avoided several restart melees that wiped out or damage NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, as well as Brandon Jones, Brian Henderson, and Ryan Reed. The incident that wiped out Reed occurred in front of Chastain. He easily cleared the incident as Reed nosed into the wall, before coming to a stop in the grass.
Chastain was also one of several that stayed on track on lap 30 as Cole Custer, Ryan Truex, and others slid or spun into the grass and gravel with fluid on track.
Chastain increased his gap over Michael Annett, the first driver currently outside of the Playoffs, in the Championship Points Standings to 49-Points. He is 334-Points behind Points Leader, and race-winner, Justin Allgaier. Chastain finished both stages in 10th, padding his cushion over Annett slightly.
The seventh-place finish is the sixth top-10 finish of the season, and 13thin Chastain’s Xfinity Series career. The top-10 finish comes on the heels of the announcement that Chastain will run three races in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 DC Solar Chevrolet Camaro SS at Darlington Raceway, the regular season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and the first race of the Xfinity Series Playoffs at Richmond Raceway.
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