By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Ross Chastain’s climb through the field after missing the setup was for naught as he was disqualified from a third-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway.
Chastain didn’t enter the top-10 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SpeedyCash.com 220 until the second Stage. His Niece Motorsports team were forced to play catchup in Stage 1. They missed the toe on his No. 45 Circle B Diecast Chevrolet Silverado. He finished Stage 2 in fifth.
The final Stage, which went caution-free saw Chastain battle Chase Elliott and eventual race winner John Hunter Nemechek for the lead. The Alva, FL native traded second with Nemechek for several laps until green flag pit stops. Chastain was the first to pit. However, he lost touch with both Elliott and Nemechek and crossed the line in third.
In post-race technical inspection, Chastain’s No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado was disqualified. The violated rule states that “the throttle body must be used as supplied by the NT1 engine supplier without modification.” The 28-year-old dropped to last on the finishing order. He also falls out of the top-10 in Stage 2, advancing everyone forward.
“We fired off really tight and chattered the front tires,” Chastain explained prior to the disqualification. “A couple of pit stops and changing the toe brought the No. 45 Circle B Diecast Chevrolet Silverado to life. We missed our toe; you’re guessing coming to these (races). All our data and all of our stuff showed one way. It went differently to how it’s been, and we learned our lesson.
“We played catchup from there, but I finally got clean air on that restart. I probably didn’t do a good enough job getting on and off pit road. Made a lot of mistakes today, passed a lot of trucks.”
The disqualification marks the second that Chastain has received in the Truck Series. He was disqualified from a 2019 win at Iowa Speedway after leading 141 laps. Chastain drove for team owner Al Niece that day as well.
Niece Motorsports does have the option to appeal the penalty. To date, only JR Motorsports has successfully appealed a disqualification, which happened in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway earlier this season.
Despite the disqualification, Chastain gained valuable seat time ahead of the NASCAR All Star Open tomorrow night. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver lines up fifth for the start of the Open. Coverage of the All-Star Race will be on FS1 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Featured Photo Credit: Photo by NKP / NKP Photo