Ross Chastain entered the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series season with optimism, having just signed a full-time deal with Chip Ganassi Racing to drive the #42 with backing from DC Solar for much of the year. However, a series of unfortunate events have left him without a ride in the series. On Friday, CGR announced the #42 team would close due to sponsorship issues.
“Due to a lack of sponsorship funding we will cease operation of the #42 Xfinity team in 2019,” a release stated. “This was a difficult decision for me to make and it comes with much anguish as this is a championship caliber team and more importantly because it affects a number of good people’s livelihoods. Running a car without proper funding is difficult to do.”
Then running for JD Motorsports, Chastain joined Ganassi for three Xfinity races in 2018; after a controversial twenty-fifth in his CGR debut at Darlington Raceway, he won in his second start for the team at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and finished second the following race at Richmond Raceway. With his impressive runs and the blessing of CGR sponsor DC Solar, he signed a full-time contract with the team in October.
In late December, however, Jeff Carpoff‘s house was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who possessed search warrants. Carpoff is the CEO of the California-based DC Solar, while he also owns the Martinez Clippers minor league baseball team.
The company, which began its involvement in NASCAR by sponsoring Brennan Poole‘s #48 HScott Motorsports Xfinity car in 2015, sponsored Ganassi’s Monster Energy Cup Series cars throughout the 2017 and 2018 seasons, though the FBI investigation will not hamper those teams’ operations. DC also sponsored various Xfinity races, including the DC Solar 200 and 300 at ISM Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, respectively; Chastain won the latter.
While the situation leaves Chastain out of an Xfinity ride, he still has a seat for 2019 with Premium Motorsports in the Cup Series.