Race Report — COTA: Ross Chastain Gets First Career Cup Victory
AUSTIN, TEXAS — MARCH 27, 2022
by Bob Francis, Go Full Throttle Managing Editor
A wild NASCAR overtime 2 lap shootout on the Texas prairie had fans on the edge of their seats Sunday afternoon in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix as Ross Chastain raced to his first career NASCAR Cup Series win at the Circuit of The Americas road course outside of Austin, TX. Chastain, driving the №1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet, became the 12th consecutive NASCAR Cup Series race winner under the age of 30 and the third first-time winner of the season.
After 67 laps of road course chaos and trading paint, overtime brought four lead-changes in the final two-lap shootout. It was Ross Chastain beating and banging doors around the 3.41-mile, 20-turn Circuit of the Americas with the decisive move that sent AJ Allmendinger (Kaulig Racing №16 Chevrolet) into the Hendrick Motrosports №48 of Alex Bowman as the three raced through turns 18, 19 and 20. The contact was enough to spin the 16 car and force the 48 off the racing surface allowing Chastain to take not only his first Cup victory but also give Trackhouse Racing its first win as a new team in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Team Chevy wins again
Three Chevy’s went into Turn 19 on that wild final lap, but only two emerged. Chastain went on to win, Alex Bowman held on for 2nd, but it was the Joe Gibbs Racing №20 Toyota of Christopher Bell that broke through for 3rd. Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott and Richard Childress Racing‘s Tyler Reddick brought their Chevy’s home to round out the top five. Allmendinger went from contenting for the win to finishing 33rd after the chaos of the final lap contact.
Ross Chastain had finished in 2nd place the past two NASCAR Cup races (Phoenix and Atlanta) creating a ground swell of support in the NASCAR Fandom. A humble farmer from Florida who has climbed from competing at local dirt tracks to the top level of professional motorsports. Fans have been swarming to get autographs and waiting to see him smash a melon to celebrate the career milestone in Victory Lane. They got both on Sunday as Chastain was all smiles high fiving, fist bumping, signing autographs and posing with fans for photos at driver intros.
Road Course to Short Track
Up next (Race 7) for the NASCAR Cup Series is short track racing at Richmond Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400 on Sunday April 3. Check back this week for the updated #GFTaiDriverRankings and our predictions for Richmond. Follow all the action on our website https://gofullthrottle.net/ and real-time updates on our Twitter feed