Motorsport News

Ross Chastain Wins Darlington Truck Race In Overtime

Nascar Craftsman Truck Series

Exactly five years after his first career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win with Niece Motorsports, a lot has changed for Ross Chastain.

What hasn’t changed is his signature winning celebration: smashing watermelons.

“A watermelon farmer just won Darlington,” Chastain said in a post-race interview on Fox Sports 1.

Chastain won the Buckle Up South Carolina 200 at Darlington Raceway on Friday (May 10), taking the lead away from Ty Majeski on an overtime restart.

Chastain caught the attention of the racing world at Darlington back in 2018, dominating an Xfinity race for Chip Ganassi Racing before a run-in with Kevin Harvick earned the ire of the former Cup champion. Many years and rides later, a Truck victory at the historic track mattered to the now multi-time Cup Series winner.

“Grit, I don’t know…it takes (crew chief) Phil Gould, it takes Niece Motorsports,” Chastain said. “We’ve been trying to win at Darlington…this is where my career changed, for better or worse, however all this works out. That first opportunity with (Chip Ganassi Racing) and Spire to put me together with that group…It’s so cool, we won Darlington.”

Makeski took the lead from Christian Eckes with 27 laps to go and was well out front before a caution with six laps to go. Majeski won the race off pit road, but opted to restart on the outside while Chastain took the inside lane. Majekski sputtered on the restart, nearly wrecking before recovering for a fifth-place finish.

“Obviously we should have taken the bottom there,” Majeski told Fox Sports 1. “I got the lead on the bottom and got beat once restarting on the top. It’s harder to fire on the top. You need help to do it. His help formulated before mine did. I didn’t get a great launch, spun them a little bit. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

Nick Sanchez won the pole but was forced to start in the rear after his Rev Racing replaced a wheel hub on his No. 2 Chevrolet Silverado. Sanchez worked through the field and finished second, not having enough to catch Chastain at the end.

“I just needed more time,” Sanchez said. “I feel like that’s the mantra of my night, I just ran out of time.” 

Ben Rhodes moved above the playoff cutline with a third-place finish. Eckes, the defending race winner, led 15 laps and finished fourth, while Majeski settled for fifth after leading the field coming to the green-white-checkered overtime.

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