Fresh off a third-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Ross Chastain has strong words for the NASCAR Cup Series. He has shut down the idea that Trackhouse Racing is an “underdog” organization after a fast start to the year.
The driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro met with media members ahead of the Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway. He provided some insight into the differences in his career since he joined Trackhouse Racing and took over the No. 1. Chastain also explained why both he and Daniel Suarez have achieved speed early in the 2022 Cup Series season.
“We are no underdog,” Chastain said on March 10, transcript courtesy of NASCAR. “I think we don’t have the legacy of winning. I mean, it’s a big deal right now, we win a stage, we’re proud of that. I think where the plan is and the preparation we’re putting in is to get to a point where that’s just, ‘Yep, OK. We won another stage, (but) did we win the race?’ … I don’t view us as an underdog and I walk around the shop, we don’t feel like we’re lacking anything.”
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Both Suarez & Chastain Have Top-5 Finishes
The two drivers at Trackhouse Racing have not reached Victory Lane during the first three weeks of the 2022 Cup Series season. However, they have both secured top-five finishes and been within reach of a win.
Suarez was the first driver to fight for the win, doing so at Auto Club Speedway on February 27. He took the lead from Kyle Larson with three laps remaining and appeared to be en route to his first career Cup Series win. However, he could not block a run by Larson which ultimately gave the driver of the No. 5 the win. Suarez finished fourth while Austin Dillon finished second and Erik Jones finished third.
Chastain made his presence known during the trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He led the most laps (83) during the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube, and he won the second stage, the first in Trackhouse Racing history. He ultimately ended his day third overall while Alex Bowman won and Larson finished second.
Chastain & Suarez Will Pursue Better Performances at Phoenix
With Suarez finishing fourth and Chastain finishing third a week later, both Trackhouse Racing drivers have strong performances at intermediate tracks. Now they will strive to keep this run going during the trip to Phoenix Raceway.
Chastain has made seven Cup Series starts at the one-mile track, and he has made strides while gaining more experience. He posted five consecutive finishes in the 20s while completing every race, and then he joined Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2021 season. Once he took over the No. 42 Chevrolet, he finished 19th in the spring race and 14th in the championship race.
Suarez, for comparison, has 10 starts at Phoenix Raceway with three 21st-place finishes in the past four races. However, he also has two top-10s on his resume, which he posted during his time with Joe Gibbs Racing 2017 and 2018). Now he will take on Phoenix for the third time as a member of Trackhouse Racing while pursuing his first career Cup Series win.