All hail the “Watermelon King.” South Florida native Ross Chastain is an 8th generation farmer. Not only is watermelon farming in his blood, but so is auto racing. His father, grandfather, and younger brother have all competed in auto racing. So it’s no shocker that at the ripe age of 12, Chastain knew his destiny was on the track. Starting with short track, Chastain dominated all along the Florida region, including Fastruck “Fast Kid” Series and the late model. He also competed in figure eight boat racing. Chastain’s great success led him to be crowned a 2011 World Series of Asphalt Champion. However, this is only the beginning…
It wasn’t enough for Chastain to steal over 50 wins in feature events. It just wasn’t enough for him to win three out of the eight events during the 2011 World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway. It was time for Chastain to ride with the big boys: NASCAR. Chastain placed 10th in the Camping Truck World Series in 2011 for his inaugural event – not a bad way to make a starting mark in his national professional racing career.
In 2012, things got even more interesting for him. Rookie Chastain faced his first full season in the Camping World Truck Series. Representing his close family ties to the watermelon industry, Chastain raced the No. 08 truck, which was sponsored by the National Watermelon Association and National Watermelon Promotion Board. So how did 2012 pan out for him? Nothing short of spectacular. Chastain came in 7th place in his second race of 2012 on the Martinsville Speedway. Even better, the rookie took 3rd place in Bristol during August of the very same year – scoring a career best for him.
In 2013, Chastain took the wheel of No. 19, where he raced for Brad Keselowski Racing in 15 Camping Truck World Series races. It was a breakout year for him. Chastain brought home his first career Truck Series pole for the Fan Appreciation 200. His 2013 victories also included: two 2nd place finishes, four top 5s, and seven top 10s. At the end of the 2013 season, Chastain left Brad Keselowski Racing and joined Ricky Benton Racing part-time for 2014.
2014 was such a big year for Chastain because he debuted in the NASCAR Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Here he drove No. 55 for Viva Motorsports. For the entire year of 2014, Chastain raced in seven Nationwide Series. Not to mention, he scored top 10 at Kentucky Speedway.
In 2015, he joined JD Motorsports where he and finished his best in the season at 9th at the opener in Daytona. Chastain has gone on to win two top-10 finishes in the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series. The JD Motorsports team is hopeful for more success in the upcoming season with the No. 4 Flex Seal Chevrolet Camaro.