Michigan next, but Daytona also on Ross Chastain’s mind

While the NASCAR Cup Series sees Michigan International Speedway this weekend, it’s difficult not to expect what’s next.

The routine season ends on the oval at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, Aug. 28. Unless Chastain manages an upset Sunday, it’ll be his last opportunity to make the playoffs with a win. At 176 points behind the cut line, just a triumph will work for him.

If it concerns that, Chastain will need to run a great line in between going for it to conserve his season and keeping himself from doing something he’ll be sorry for later on.

“I don’t want to cause a big wreck,” he stated Thursday in a media teleconference. “I’ve done that.”

In last August’s Xfinity Series race at Daytona, Chastain was driving for Kaulig Racing. He attempted to take the lead with a within pass of colleague A.J. Allmendinger on the last lap. Rather, Chastain made contact with Allmendinger and both entered into the Turn 3 wall.

The 3rd Kaulig chauffeur, Justin Haley, slipped past the crash and went on to win.

“I still hate that I made that move on the last lap and I just could have done so much better there and just been a better person about it,” Chastain remembered. “And I wasn’t. And I didn’t do that. So yeah, I learned from that, I think.”

The next time he went to the Daytona oval, he was the brand-new chauffeur of Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 Cup automobile. In the season-opening Daytona 500, he ended up seventh in spite of knocking the wall in the last-lap crash that provided the win to Michael McDowell.

Prior to all hell broke out, much of the sport’s leading superspeedway motorists – Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin amongst them – led Chastain in the lead pack.

And Chastain has actually observed that on superspeedways, it’s generally those exact same motorists who are in advance for those last restarts.

Is it luck? Chastain utilized to believe so. He’s not so sure any longer.

“They put themselves in the best position and the right position to be up there,” he stated. “If it is luck, they make their own luck. And they make the luck, so they can be up there at the end.”

Chastain wishes to belong to that group ultimately. However very first thing’s very first, which’s Michigan’s broad, two-mile oval this weekend.

The track will be dealt with with resin rather of PJ1 entering this weekend’s races. When resin was last utilized on the concrete at Nashville Superspeedway in June, it was fulfilled with favorable feedback from rivals. Chastain made his career-best Cup surface of 2nd at Nashville behind winner Kyle Larson.

As far as racing with resin on asphalt, Chastain stated he’s never ever done it in the past. With that, he’s embraced a “figure it out” mindset.

“We’ll just go up there and kind of poke at it and feel it, whatever we have to in dirty air, and if it’s got grip, you’ll see a lot of us up there,” Chastain stated. “If it doesn’t have grip, you’ll see us all below it. We’ll only take what we can take out of it.

“… They want the best race. They want to give us options. And I think we’ve got a shot. I don’t think the rain up there this week is helping their track prep stuff, but they’re going to do what they can. They don’t want to make it too slick or too gripped-up. They’re just trying to find a happy medium. And if they get it in the box where we can race in it, then we’ll have a lot more options for racing.”

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Michigan next, however Daytona likewise on Ross Chastain’s mind initially appeared on NBCSports.com

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.