Ross Chastain ready for NASCAR Playoffs

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The NASCAR playoffs get started this weekend and for the first time in his career Alva native Ross Chastain will be a participant.

If you take things back to a year ago this week Chastain was in a much different mood than he is at his team headquarters in North Carolina today.

“I remember that week specifically and just how I felt like we did not accomplish what we had the capability of,” Chastain said.

What a difference a year can make as Ross with his new team, Trackhouse won two races and finished third in the points during the regular season to lock in a playoff spot.

“It is everything that we wanted right? We wanted to be competitive and we wanted to win races and compete,” Chastain said.

This time of the year is supposed to be the most stressful part of the job for a NASCAR driver but Ross is as cool as a watermelon on a hot Florida day.

“It might sound a little odd to say but I am truly never more at peace than in the race car,” Chastain said.

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That zen approach allows him to block out what has been a bumpy couple of races.

All season long Chastain has battled the critics of his aggressive driving and for the last six races he has not registered a point towards the standings. But with his spot in the playoffs secure he can now leave all of that behind him and focus on what’s been making him a weekly competitor.

“You look at the speed. You know you watch the whole race, the whole weekend as a whole the speed is there and in NASCAR that is  objective number one is to put speed into the race cars,” Chastain said.

He isn’t going into this playoff experience blind however. He can lean on past experiences in the lower series to help navigate this new challenge.

“One thing I have learned through my playoff runs in trucks and Xfinity is the best plan is probably not going to happen.”

Now all he can do is take this one lap at a time and remember the lessons he learned as a kid racing in Punta Gorda.

“At the end of the day that simple fact that crawling into the race car brings me the most sense of peace and excitement so I am excited for Saturday.”

Ross will race on Saturday at Darlington in the Xfinity series as a warm-up to Sunday’s first race of the playoffs in the Cup Series.

Tags: Nascarnascar cup seriesRoss Chastain

 

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