By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
NASCAR’s workhorse Ross Chastain will reunite with Chip Ganassi Racing for two NASCAR Cup Series races, beginning in the 62nd Daytona 500.
Like last year with Jamie McMurray, Ganassi will be preparing Chastain’s No. 77 AdventHealth Chevrolet, but it’ll technically be listed under the Spire Motorsports banner.
Spire are the most recent race winning team at the “World Center of Racing” when Justin Haley won last July’s rain shortened race.
Thursday’s announcement was part of a major unveil by primary sponsor AdventHealth, taking place at Daytona International Speedway’s victory lane. They’ll not only sponsor Chastain’s efforts for the 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, they’ll also sponsor Kyle Larson in both the Busch Clash and Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Larson won with the sponsorship in last year’s All-Star Race at Charlotte, the biggest highlight of the partnership since it began in 2016.
David Banks, Chief Strategy Officer of AdventHealth, is proud of continuing the partnership with Ganassi and having Chastain, who’s car includes the trademark watermelon wrap underneath, could further build the partnership’s ongoing success.
“We’ve been a proud supporter of Chip Ganassi Racing since 2016, and I’m really excited to further expand our winning partnership by teaming-up with both Kyle and Ross. This collaboration is something all of our employees across the nation can get excited about,” Banks said. “We had a great run with Kyle last year and are excited about the 2020 season. In our first race on Kyle’s car, he not only raced his way into the NASCAR All-Star race, but also went on to win it! We are looking forward to continuing that momentum and success together in 2020.
“With our injector at the Daytona International Speedway, we’ve been able to engage with the hundreds of thousands of race fans that attend Speedweeks, but are beyond thrilled to have an AdventHealth car racing in the DAYTONA 500 for the first time ever. I can’t wait to watch Florida’s own “Melon Man” race on the track this year in our watermelon-themed AdventHealth Chevy.”
Although Chastain is a CGR developmental driver, the announcement was bittersweet for Chastain because he felt he wasn’t going to run a Ganassi car again after his full-time Xfinity Series deal fell through due to DC Solar’s demise, forcing Ganassi shutting down his NXS program last Janauary.
Chastain, who’ll be running full-time for Kaulig Racing in Xfinity as well as a partial schedule with Niece Motorsports in the Truck Series, said he’s thrilled of running the 500, where he finished 10th for Premium Motorsports last year.
“To have the opportunity to run the Daytona 500 is awesome, and it’s great to do it this year with AdventHealth on board my car,” Chastain said. “I’ve only had one start in the Daytona 500, and can’t wait to run that race again in what I know will be a competitive car. I’m also looking forward to racing the Coca-Cola 600. That’s another iconic race that all of us want to win.”
Besides Chastain, no further confirmations from Spire as far as who’ll drive the other 34 races in the No. 77 Chevrolet. Neither as Haley’s plans of running any Cup races in 2020.