Chastain switches gears, declares for Gander Outdoors Truck Series points

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - JUNE 06: Brett Moffitt, driver of the #24 Central Plains Cement Company Chevrolet, and Ross Chastain, driver of the #38 Niece Equipment Chevrolet, stand in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series 400 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 06, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Popular driver Ross Chastain formally declared he would be running for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship – switching his original plan from challenging the Xfinity Series, where he declared himself championship eligible at the beginning of the year.

Chastain must still win a race sometime in the remainder of the regular season and get into the top-20 in the points standings to earn a championship berth. He won at Kansas two races ago and is a perfect eight-for-eight in top-10 showings. Now he will start earning points toward the championship.

As unorthodox as it may be to switch championship focuses in the middle of the season, Chastain’s decision was well-received in the truck series.

“He’s a great guy,’’ said Stewart Friesen, who is currently second in the championship standings. “I’ve gotten to know Ross a little bit the last year or so. He’s a great competitor and it’s cool.

“Basically we’ve been racing him all year long anyway so he’s been there, just not on the scoreboard midweek. He’s a great racer so he’ll be good.”

Greg Engle