By David Morgan, Associate Editor
The rollercoaster ride that has been the offseason for Ross Chastain continued on Thursday as he was confirmed to have a full-time schedule in the Xfinity Series for 2019 with both JD Motorsports and Kaulig Racing.
Chastain was originally scheduled to race full-time for Chip Ganassi Racing in their No. 42 entry, but sponsorship woes forced the team’s closure and left the Alva, Florida native without a ride in NASCAR’s second tier series.
Fast forward to Thursday when Blake Koch, who was going to drive the No. 4 car for JD Motorsports this season, elected to take a step back from making his return to the cockpit and instead focus on his business, Filter Time. That left a spot open for Chastain to return to the car he piloted to a 10th place points finish last season.
Excited to see @RossChastain back in the 4 car. I need to give @FilterTime 💯 of my attention at this time. A HUGE opportunity has developed for my business and I will be able to share it with you soon. pic.twitter.com/mapIGwQNJs
— Blake Koch (@BlakeKochRacing) January 31, 2019
Chastain will drive 30 of the 33 Xfinity Series races for JD Motorsports this season, filling in the other three with a second Kaulig Racing entry, driving their No. 10 car at the season-opening race at Daytona, along with Chicagoland on June 29 and Texas on November 2.
“We here at JD Motorsports are looking forward to having Ross back in the No. 4 in 2019. He has shown his ability to wheel a racecar time and time again while competing against some of the top teams in the sport. I am excited to see how far the improvements made in the off season will take the No. 4 car this year.” said team owner, Johnny Davis.
“I’m thrilled for this opportunity with Kaulig Racing,” said Chastain. “We’ve had quite the rollercoaster of emotions in the off-season, but I am really looking forward to competing for wins this season. It is also a great honor to have a new sponsor on board with Nutrien Ag Solutions. Partnering with Nutrien Ag Solutions is a natural fit for me with my family’s legacy as watermelon farmers, and I’m excited to represent their growers and employees.”
Chastain has driven four full-time seasons in the Xfinity Series, with last year’s campaign being his most successful, scoring his first career win, as well as three top-five finishes, eight top-10 finishes, 272 laps led, and one pole.
In addition to his Xfinity Series duties, Chastain will also drive a full-time Cup Series schedule for Premium Motorsports, along with select Truck Series starts for Niece Motorsports in their No. 45 truck.