Ross Chastain looking for a repeat

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA - APRIL 22: Ross Chastain, driver of the #1 Moose Fraternity Chevrolet, waits on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 22, 2023 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Ross Chastain’s victory – he led only the last lap – in last year’s Talladega spring 500-miler marks his last trip to Victory Lane. The popular driver of the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet is currently second in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings, only five-points behind leader Christopher Bell. He has three top-five and five top-10 finishes in 2023 – his best showing a third place at both California’s Auto Club Speedway and the Richmond, Va. short track.

“I feel like I was gifted something from the [Talladega] speedway last Spring and I’ll probably have to pay it back for a while now,” Chastain allowed with a smile. “I paid it forward for a long time – a decade – and now I’ll have to pay it back.

“I’m good with it. I could have been paying it forward for my entire career and never won here so I will take it and come in prepared to win again.”

Chastain said he’s pleased with the team’s 2023 performance, calling the Trackhouse Racing’s preparation this year, “amazing.” He insisted he and teammate Daniel Suarez are prepared and confident to win every race weekend. It’s just a matter of time.

“I think we’re as stronger or stronger [than last year],” Chastain said. “I’ve learned so much so to continue to just evolve and Trackhouse is just evolving, growing quickly, you have to be born, then you crawl your first year and we ran last year and we’re continuing to run and we’re in it to sustain this pace. It’s not easy but I feel I have just as capable cars this year as last.”