Ross Chastain substituting for Ryan Newman

by Justin Nguyen

With Ryan Newman recovering from his crazy wreck in the Daytona 500, Ross Chastain has been tasked as his replacement in the Roush Fenway Racing #6 Ford Mustang. On Wednesday, shortly after Newman was released from the hospital, RFR announced Chastain as interim driver starting with Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“First and foremost, our focus remains with Ryan and his family as he continues to recover,” team president Steve Newmark stated. “We also want to express our sincere gratitude to all of those who have offered support and taken the time to send their thoughts and prayers to Ryan, his family and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing.

“The NASCAR community has long prided itself on being a close-knit family. That is never more evident than during these types of moments, and we want to express our appreciation to everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing as well as Kaulig Racing for allowing Ross to fill in for Ryan in the No. 6 on such short notice.”

Chastain currently races for Kaulig in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, his first full-time campaign with the team; he failed to qualify for the season opener at Daytona International Speedway due to mechanical troubles, but replaced Jeff Green in the #38 RSS Racing car for the race and finished twenty-second. The following day, he ran the Daytona 500 with Spire Motorsports in alliance with CGR, where he finished twenty-fifth after being involved in a late multi-car crash. He is also scheduled to run the Coca-Cola 600 with Spire.

The reigning NASCAR Gander Trucks Most Popular Driver finished runner-up in the 2019 Truck standings. That year, the “Busiest Man in NASCAR” ran seventy-seven national series races (Cup, Xfinity, Truck) and even switched from Xfinity to Truck points midseason. He scored three Truck wins and an Xfinity victory during the season.

In four Cup starts at Las Vegas with Premium Motorsports, Chastain’s best finish is twentieth in 2018. He won at the course in 2018 with Ganassi, his maiden Xfinity Series victory.

“No one could ever take the place of Ryan Newman on the track, and I can’t wait to have him back,” Chastain tweeted. “As we continue to pray for a full and speedy recovery, I’ll do my best to make him and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing proud.”

RFR has not announced a timetable for Newman’s return.

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