Ross Chastain ran into bad luck on a superspeedway for the second time this season sending the Melon 1 Toyota to the garage halfway through the NCWTS Fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola Saturday afternoon at the Talladega Superspeedway.
Ross nearly saved his Toyota after contact with another truck caused him to get loose collecting several other drivers including teammate Johnny Chapman and was credited with 34th in the event, which was won by first time NCWTS winner Parker Klingerman.
Knowing that running good in the draft was key, the SS Green Light Racing team spent the entire practice session working on the race set-up and did not practice qualifying. When the trucks to took the track Friday afternoon for qualifying, Ross covered the 2.66-mile speedway in 56.12 seconds at 170.6 mph good for the thirty-third starting spot.
“We didn’t work on qualifying at all in practice, we worked hard on drafting, changing lots of things during practice and never made a mock qualifying run. I thought we would qualify better than we did,” Ross said.
Chastain ran well in the draft early in the race and found a partner in Matt Crafton to work with. “I was able to push Crafton pretty good and we could make up some spots when I was pushing him.”
“I was trying to work together with Johnny (Chapman) on the bottom line, but we really couldn’t make up any ground on the bottom,” Chastain said. “I felt like I could go better on the outside line.”
As the race reached the halfway point, Ross was tapped from behind by another truck which got him loose and just as he recovered he was tapped again causing him to slide into teammate Johnny Chapman and also collected Todd Bodine triggering a wreck that sent all three Toyota’s to the garage with heavy damage.
"One thing you never want to happen is get in a wreck with your teammate," Ross explained. “I really hate it for Bobby Dotter and for Johnny and all the SS Green Light guys. They put a lot of work into preparing these trucks and it will take a lot of time and resources to fix these trucks and I feel really bad about that. I have not seen the tape to know exactly what happened on the track so I don’t want to pass judgment on what caused the wreck. I know what I felt in the truck, but I need to see it before I will comment on what happened.”
"We have a couple weeks off before Martinsville, I’m really looking forward to going back there. We had a great truck in the spring race and I feel we can run up-front again on the short-track.”
SS Green Light Racing PR