Hauler accident doesn’t slow new hire Ross Chastain

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS - OCTOBER 18: Ross Chastain, driver of the #15 Harrah's North Kansas City Chevrolet, practices for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 18, 2019 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Talk about an up-and-down week.

On Tuesday, Kaulig Racing announced the signing of Ross Chastain to a full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series deal for the 2020 season.

Two days later, the Kaulig transporter carrying the No. 10 Chevrolet Chastain was to drive in Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) wrecked in McDowell County in western North Carolina.

The primary race car was destroyed in the crash. Even though Chastain has run only four Xfinity races for Kaulig this season as he competes with Niece Motorsports for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series title, the team remained committed to getting him on the track at Kansas despite the setback.

Accordingly, Kaulig stepped up the work on the car intended for Texas Motor Speedway two weeks hence and brought it to Kansas for Chastain to drive.

“The terrible thing that happened two days ago doesn’t slow them down,” said Chastain, who will team with current Kaulig driver Justin Haley next year. “Our guys worked 30 some odd hours straight to get this car ready.”

The work was effective. Chastain was third fastest in opening Xfinity practice on Friday and seventh on the speed chart in the final session.