Road Show: Ross Chastain Scores First Career Cup Series Victory At Circuit Of The Americas

Holly Cain

NASCAR Wire Service

Ross Chastain celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Echopark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas Sunday (Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, Texas – In exactly the kind of thrilling final lap, final-turn high-action finish NASCAR has so often provided on road courses, Ross Chastain persevered in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix to win his first career NASCAR Cup Series race at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas – the sixth different winner this season.

Chastain really had to earn this one – coming out on the right end of a frantic, four lead-change, two-lap final overtime. And he did – moving veteran A.J. Allmendinger and Alex Bowman in the final series of turns on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn circuit to take not only his first victory in NASCAR’s premier series but also give his Trackhouse Racing’s Justin Marks his first win as a new owner in stock car’s big leagues.

After grabbing the position in the final corner, Chastain raced off to a 1.331-second victory over Hendrick Motorsports driver Bowman, who unlike Allmendinger was able to recover from the last lap contact and continue to the checkered flag. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell, Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott and Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick rounding out the top five.

Chastain’s family owns a watermelon farm in tiny, rural Alva, Florida and as he has famously done with past victories in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series, Chastain stood on top of his winning car, the No.1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet, and dropped a watermelon to the track, crushing it on the ground as his team and fans exploded in cheers.

“It’s insane to go up against some of the best and I know he’s [Allmendinger] going to be upset with me, but we race hard, both of us,” said Chastain, who has been runner-up in the last two NASCAR Cup Series races coming to Austin.

“But when it comes to this Cup win, I can’t let that go down without a fight.”

Allmendinger, who actually was a NASCAR Xfinity Series teammate with Chastain two years ago, was understandably crushed as well after the race. He finished 33rd.

“We just needed two more corners,” said a disappointed Allmendinger, who also went door-to-door in a tight on-track battle with Chastain in winning Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at COTA.

“Everybody’s got to be comfortable with the move they make and look in the mirror,” Allmendinger told FOX Sports. “Everybody’s different on what they view, and you can’t judge a person for that.

“So, at the end of the day, I’m just proud of Kaulig Racing for bringing such a fast Action Industry Chevrolet. We started at the back, drove to the front and if we had had a long run [at the end] it would have been game over. Nobody would have touched me.

“You know the moves are going to be made at times. Whether I’m okay with it, doesn’t really matter.

“I wanted to sweep the weekend and we came two corners away,” he added.

Chastain led a race high 31 of the 69 laps – one of nine leaders in the series’ first road course test with the Next Gen cars debuting this season. The race produced a series road course record  of 30 green flag passes for the lead. 

And the 29-year-old Floridian becomes the 12th consecutive NASCAR Cup Series race winner under the age of 30 and the third first-time winner this season.

It was as equally a thrilling maiden win for the former NASCAR and sportscar driver Marks, who was interviewed during the FOX telecast just before the final restart, revealing with a smile that “It’s a little easier to be a driver of one these things than to watch.”

“It seemed like a real tall order when I dreamt this thing up,” Marks said. “But every man and woman that’s trusted the vision and committed to Trackhouse and worked so hard owns a piece of this victory.

“I’m so happy for everybody. Everybody believed in this, and I can’t wait for next week.”

And, he reported with a grin, he spoke with the team’s co-owner, music superstar Pitbull who promised he also was smashing a watermelon over his head and drinking champagne.

The race pole-winner Ryan Blaney finished sixth, followed by Martin Truex Jr, Austin Cindric, Erik Jones, and Austin Dillon rounding out the top 10.

With that fourth-place finish Elliott now holds a 13-point advantage on Blaney heading into next weekend’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

NASCAR Cup Series Race – 2nd Annual EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix

Circuit of The Americas

Austin, Texas

Sunday, March 27, 2022

               1. (16)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 69.

               2. (5)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 69.

               3. (7)  Christopher Bell, Toyota, 69.

               4. (12)  Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 69.

               5. (4)  Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 69.

               6. (1)  Ryan Blaney, Ford, 69.

               7. (17)  Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 69.

               8. (10)  Austin Cindric #, Ford, 69.

               9. (30)  Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 69.

               10. (21)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 69.

               11. (18)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 69.

               12. (24)  William Byron, Chevrolet, 69.

               13. (27)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 69.

               14. (26)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 69.

               15. (9)  Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 69.

               16. (29)  Todd Gilliland #, Ford, 69.

               17. (19)  Harrison Burton #, Ford, 69.

               18. (8)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 69.

               19. (25)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 69.

               20. (33)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 69.

               21. (22)  Chris Buescher, Ford, 69.

               22. (34)  Josh Bilicki(i), Chevrolet, 69.

               23. (3)  Cole Custer, Ford, 69.

               24. (2)  Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 69.

               25. (31)  Kaz Grala(i), Chevrolet, 69.

               26. (37)  Boris Said, Ford, 69.

               27. (35)  Cody Ware, Ford, 69.

               28. (15)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 69.

               29. (13)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 69.

               30. (14)  Chase Briscoe, Ford, 69.

               31. (6)  Joey Logano, Ford, 69.

               32. (11)  Kurt Busch, Toyota, 69.

               33. (20)  AJ Allmendinger(i), Chevrolet, 68.

               34. (36)  Loris Hezemans(i), Ford, Rear Gear, 62.

               35. (38)  Joey Hand, Ford, Suspension, 60.

               36. (32)  Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, Engine, 57.

               37. (28)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, Drivetrain, 52.

               38. (23)  Bubba Wallace, Toyota, Suspension, 44.

               39. (39)  Andy Lally(i), Ford, Suspension, 19.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  70.253 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 20 Mins, 57 Secs. Margin of Victory:  1.331 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  9 for 13 laps.

Lead Changes:  13 among 9 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   D. Suarez 1-15;R. Blaney 16;A. Cindric # 17-27;D. Hamlin 28-30;J. Logano 31-32;R. Chastain 33-41;A. Allmendinger(i) 42;R. Chastain 43-44;C. Briscoe 45-46;R. Chastain 47-64;A. Allmendinger(i) 65;T. Reddick 66-67;R. Chastain 68-69.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Ross Chastain 4 times for 31 laps; Daniel Suarez 1 time for 15 laps; Austin Cindric # 1 time for 11 laps; Denny Hamlin 1 time for 3 laps; Chase Briscoe 1 time for 2 laps; AJ Allmendinger(i) 2 times for 2 laps; Joey Logano 1 time for 2 laps; Tyler Reddick 1 time for 2 laps; Ryan Blaney 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 99,12,48,22,5,31,9,14,21,2

Stage #2 Top Ten: 11,18,22,12,10,3,21,1,2,23


  1. A great race. Lots of action throughput the field. Awesome to see Chastain win finally, the guy drives all in every lap. Who would have thought after 6 races there would be 3 fi eat time winners, one being a rookie, and 6 different winners. This new car is doing exactly what nascar intended it to do.

  2. Pretty good race. The latest rendition of the CoT seems to like the road course.

    Chastain did what Kyle Busch would have done, only far less destruction.

    The specialty road course drivers were of no use. But it was good to see Boris.

    Joey Logano had a rough day. It was dizzying seeing him spin so often.

  3. That was a great finish – just wish the Dinger didn’t spin.

  4. Suitcase Jake says

    Super Good Race, Lots of Driving Talent on display…. Very Healthy for NASCAR to keep producing these FIRST TIME WINNERS…… Chastain deserves to get a Win after all the struggles… Driving the wheels off everything he could the last few seasons….He has proven he has the talent and hard charging style that Fans & Owners love…. Wanted a
    1st and 2nd place finish for Allmendinger & Chastain but other than that it was a great shootout for the WIN… Someone on Bubba’s Team is going to be on the bench with heavy fines for the uncontrolled wheel that flew off on the track….. I have seen two people get hit by a wheel in my years at the track… One Lived the other lost their life…. so I do UNDERSTAND why the PENALTY’S are very SERIOUS for losing a wheel out on the Track at speed….They may have to come up with some sort of failsafe for keeping the wheels from coming off….. Mechanical Engineers will get to work …

  5. Anyone know what the vents behind the exaust are for?

  6. Be interesting to see how these next gen cars do on the dirt at Bristol.

  7. Suitcase Jake says

    Crew Chief & 2 others get 4 race suspensions on Bubba Wallace’s Cup Car ….. For the wheel coming off on track ….

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