Ross Chastain and the SS Green Light Racing team had high hopes coming to Rockingham on the heels of the Florida teen’s career best NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finish two weeks ago at Martinsville. A loose race truck and a very tricky track made for a long afternoon for the Florida Watermelon Association Toyota in the Inaugural Good Same Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine.
Following solid performances in all four of the practice sessions, Ross qualified the Florida Watermelon Association Tundra 14th on Saturday afternoon with a lap of 25.29 seconds at 142.39 mph.
Chastain held position right after the drop of the green flag and looked to have the start of a good day. An early caution bunched the field back up on lap five and after the restart Ross’s truck became increasingly loose and hard to control. Attempting to make a pass for position on lap ten Ross brushed the outside wall, but it did not appear to be a hard enough hit to damage his Toyota Tundra.
“It was just loose, it didn’t hit hard enough to do anything that we know of,” Chastain said. “Not sure why it was so loose at the start of the race. It was so different than we were in practice.”
Ross fell back in the running order fighting the loose race truck over the next fifty laps as Nelson Piquet Jr. set a torrid pace at the front of the field lapping all but ten trucks by the time the second caution flew on lap 61.
“The track was a little warmer that what we practiced but we didn’t think it was enough to change the track. I don’t know, we were actually on the tight side through practice, why we were so loose at the start of the race, I just don’t know.”
Despite adjustments on each pit stop, it was not until the very last run that Ross was finally able to control his Tundra. “Got it close to where we should have started the race on the last run, and drove around some of the trucks that finished top 15. Just wish we could have started that good.”
Several long green flag runs kept Ross from making up many positions and finished a disheartening 25th, four laps down to winner Kasey Kahne and fell to 14th in the NCWTS driver standings 11 points out of tenth place.
“We’ll take a good look at the truck Monday morning to see if we can figure anything out, but we have to get things finalized quickly for next week. We’re taking a different Toyota Tundra to Kansas.”
The next NCWTS race for Chastain and the SS Green Light Racing team will be the SFP 250 on Saturday April 21, 2012 at the Kansas Speedway. The Florida Watermelon Association will again support Chastain at Kansas.
SS Green Light Racing PR