Ross Chastain came out of the gate strong in his debut with Roush Fenway Racing. Serving as the fill-in driver for Ryan Newman, the young driver powered his No. 6 Wyndham Rewards Ford inside the top-10 early, earning first round stage points. He appeared poised for a strong finish before being caught-up in a pair of late incidents and setting for a 27th-place finish.
“The car deserved a lot better finish,” Chastain said following the race. “Obviously, we showed a lot of speed early on. These guys kind of ate me alive on the restarts at times and I’d lose three or four spots. The guys gave me a really good car and we had some solid moments. I just have to be better.”
After qualifying was rained out on Saturday, the field was set per the rule book, reverting back to 2019 points which put Chastain 15th on the grid. Towards the end of the opening stage, the Alva, Florida, native moved his way forward, eventually working up to 10th by the conclusion of stage one.
He rolled off eighth for the second stage, but quickly reported he was too tight and needed more front turn in his No. 6 Ford. After the yellow came out just prior to the second stage end, Chastain completed the 80-lap segment in 15th.
Green flag stops began to cycle just after lap 210, before Chastain hit pit road at the 217-lap mark from the 15th spot. Just after his stop, the yellow came out catching a majority of the field on or leaving pit road, which resulted in the team taking a wave around to get back on the lead lap.
On the ensuing restart, Chastain fired off 21st but made contact with the No. 1 car coming to the green, which led to a tire rub and an eventual two-tire stop under green flag conditions. Chastain brought out the yellow with three to go after spinning out, before going on to finish 27th.
The No. 6 team continues the West Coast swing next weekend in California, when the NASCAR Cup Series hits Auto Club Speedway Sunday afternoon (FOX, MRN, SiriusXM Channel 90).