To be a successful farmer, one must be ready to put in the time and effort to grow the best crop. Nobody knows that more than Ross Chastain, driver of the CarShield #45 Silverado in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
While in the off-season Ross spends his time, in his home state of Florida, cultivating watermelons. A profession that has earned him the nick name of “The Melon Man” on the track, and launched the #MelonManChallenge hashtag on social media. While behind the wheel, he brings those same principles of hard work and consistent effort to propel him into contention for the title.
The Florida Watermelon Farmer has grown an impressive record on the track, this season. Ross has earned 3 official wins, 9 top 5 finishes, 18 top 10 finishes, 7 stage wins, and leads the pack with the most laps led at an impressive 555. Stats like those are noteworthy, but if you take into consideration that Chastain didn’t declare for the Truck Series Championship until the ninth race of the season, then you can’t deny the talent involved.
Talent and a great work ethic are instrumental to success on the track, but it takes a whole team to bring in the wins and capture the checkered flag. That’s where the strong team around the #45 Chevy Silverado shine. Reflecting on the success of the team, Al Niece, of Al Niece Motorsports , stated, “I’m so proud of everyone at Niece Motorsports and the effort that they’ve put into this season. Ross has shown that he’s a tremendous talent, and our team has given him excellent equipment. I know Ross and the whole team are going to do everything they can to press the attack and bring that championship home.”
Clenching a spot in the Championship 4 left Chastain with a grin nearly as big the watermelons he smashes in the winner’s circle.
“Man, this is crazy,” Chastain reflected.
While proud of his accomplishments thus far, Ross realizes that he isn’t the only driver gunning for the title. He faces stiff competition from Stewart Friesen, Matt Crafton, and last year’s champion Brett Moffitt. Nonetheless, Chastain and the team are determined as they enter the final race week of the season.
“This is the week we’ve been waiting for,” Chastain said. “I love coming home to race in Florida, and I love racing at Homestead. As a race car driver, this week is a dream come true. All you can ask for is a chance to compete for wins and championships, and we’ve accomplished that together this year at Niece Motorsports. I’m so grateful for everyone at Niece Motorsports and CarShield for getting us here. We’re ready to get on track this week and give it all we’ve got.”
CarShield has been the primary sponsor of Ross Chastain and the Niece Motorsports #45 Chevy Silverado since June, at the CarShield 200.
You can watch the excitement of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Championship on FOX SPORTS ONE. Race time is Friday, November 15 at 8:00 PM Eastern.