UPDATE: September 21, 2020 – 10:04 AM ET:
Chip Ganassi Racing has officially announced that Ross Chastain will pilot the organization’s No. 42 machine in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. The team confirmed the Monday morning report from Motorsport.com with a press release.
In the release, Chip Ganassi states that he is excited to bring the tenacious watermelon farmer to his team full-time next season.
“Ross has been a part of this organization for a few years now, and I am happy to announce him as our driver for the No. 42 team,” Ganassi said. “In three races with our organization in 2018 and watching ever since, he showed me and everyone else that he is a tenacious driver who wants to win. We believe that Ross will give our team the opportunity to be competitive each week and our sponsors someone to build a program around. Additionally, his racing background has him well-suited to make the move to the Cup Series.”
For Chastain, the move to CGR’s No. 42 for 2021, is a dream come true.
“I can’t thank Chip enough for this opportunity. The faith he and the organization showed me back in 2018 was a real turning point in my career, and I am extremely happy for the chance to join the team again especially with all the great guys they have on the 42 and to be able to team with a champion like Kurt Busch,” said Chastain in the release. “Racing in the Cup Series with a serious contender has always been my goal, and I’m looking forward to joining what is a very strong team. I know I have my work cut out for me, but I’m ready to get to work and help bring more success to the organization.”
Chastain will replace Matt Kenseth, the interim driver of the No. 42 car, at season’s end.
Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Cup Series champion, was given the opportunity to return to the series when Kyle Larson was suspended by NASCAR and fired by CGR after uttering a racial slur during an iRacing event back in April. While many expected Kenseth to come in and compete for wins, the majority of the season has been a disappointment for the 48-year old future NASCAR Hall of Famer.
ORIGINAL STORY: September 21, 2020 – 8:06 AM ET:
A major domino in NASCAR silly season 2020 is reportedly going to fall as early as today.
Multiple reports suggest that Ross Chastain, the 27-year-old watermelon farmer from Florida, will take the reins of the No. 42 Camaro ZL1 1LE for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2021.
The first report came from Motorsport.com’s Jim Utter. An official announcement is expected to confirm the news as early as Monday.
Chastain has been enjoying a strong showing in the Xfinity Series, scoring 13 top-5 finishes in 26 races, as well as 23 top-10 finishes.
The No.42 car in Cup has been occupied by Matt Kenseth, who took over the car following Kyle Larson’s racial slur on a livestream for iRacing.
After finishing second at Bristol this past weekend, Chastain was asked if he would ever drive for Chip Ganassi Racing in Cup, specifically the No. 42 car after rumors connected him to the car.
“Are you kidding me? Of course,” Chastain said. “Everyone in this whole entire garage would, yeah. I mean yeah. Who wouldn’t? Everyone would.”
The 27-year-old has been making Cup Series starts sine 2017, running nearly the full schedule in 2018 and 2019.
This season alone, he as competed in eight races, including subbing in for Ryan Newman, who sat out multiple races after his horrific crash in the Daytona 500 in February. His best finish with the team was 17th at Fontana.
To read Motorsport.com’s initial report of Chastain going to CGR, Click here.