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Ross Chastain Journey: From Watermelon Fields to NASCAR Glory

Ross Chastain Journey: Ross Chastain, once a watermelon farmer turned NASCAR driver, intricately weaves his agricultural roots into the high-speed world of stock car racing.

Initially hired by Chip Ganassi Racing in 2021 as Kyle Larson’s full-time replacement, Chastain faced uncertainty in 2022 when Trackhouse Racing Team acquired Ganassi’s operation. The transition led him to the No. 1 Chevrolet, expanding Trackhouse Racing to a two-car team.

Chastain’s inaugural season with the new team yielded the first two victories of his Cup Series career. His tradition of smashing a watermelon in celebration, born in 2018 after his first Xfinity Series win, continued. In 2023, he reached the playoffs for the first time, culminating in a Championship 4 appearance and a second-place finish in the standings. Despite two wins, he exited the playoffs earlier in the 2023 season.

Beyond the racetrack, Chastain leverages his role as a NASCAR driver to advocate for watermelons and agriculture. Balancing racing and farming, he emphasizes the challenge during the racing season but underscores the importance of promoting agriculture.

“During racing season, it’s tough,” Chastain explains. “We’re chasing checkered flags and want to promote watermelons and ag through smashing them in victory lane or just talking about them in general.”

Chastain acknowledges the global significance of farming, placing himself in the category responsible for feeding the majority. His family’s deep roots in agriculture contribute to this understanding.

“The agriculture industry is like a huge family,” he notes. Through NASCAR, Chastain connects with farmers nationwide, creating a unique platform for agricultural promotion and education.

Despite his farming background, Chastain remains committed to learning, frequently stopping at farms to expand his knowledge. He emphasizes the importance of ongoing education and aims to utilize his platform beyond racing victories.

Ross Chastain Journey (2)

“I’m always educating myself on agriculture. I don’t ever want to stop learning. It’s my job now to promote it and speak about what I’m learning,” Chastain emphasizes.

For Chastain, racing and watermelon farming coalesce into a simple yet fulfilling life. “Man, I’m pretty simple,” he admits. “This is my life. I’m living NASCAR. I’m living the competition and the desire to be better.” While he relishes a return to the farm in December, his routine echoes a commitment to a normal life, uniquely entwining the speed of NASCAR with the roots of agriculture.

ALSO READ: Ross Chastain Ag to Asphalt: Honoring Farmers Across America

Our Reader’s Queries

How fast was Ross Chastain going?

Chastain secured a spot in the Championship 4 in October, but it wasn’t an easy feat. At Martinsville, he found himself in tenth place on the last lap of the race. In a bold move, he drove his car into the outside wall of the track in Turns 3 and 4, reaching an unprecedented speed of up to 130 miles per hour (210 km/h). This move allowed him to overtake Hamlin and four other competitors, ultimately securing his spot in the Championship 4.

How did Ross Chastain’s Wall Ride work?

As the pack hit the brakes and downshifted to navigate the tight Turns 3 and 4 of the half-mile short track, Chastain did the opposite. He upshifted and kept his foot on the pedal, hugging the outside wall. In that moment, the race became irrelevant as everyone was in awe of Chastain’s daring move.

How fast was Ross Chastain going when he rode the wall?

At a speed of 130 mph, Chastain collides with the wall, causing his speed data to become erratic as he spins around the corner. His steering trace also becomes unresponsive as he approaches the wall, with Chastain only regaining control once he has straightened out.

Why do they call Ross Chastain the Watermelon Man?

Ross Chastain, also known as the ‘Watermelon Man’, is a true testament to both his racing skills and his unbreakable spirit. Hailing from Florida, Chastain’s journey to NASCAR started from humble beginnings, where he spent his childhood working on his family’s watermelon farm. His nickname is a reflection of his roots and serves as a reminder of his unwavering determination to succeed.

Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatia, a distinguished BA (Hons) English graduate from St. Stephen College (University of Delhi) and a holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (English) from IIMC Delhi, is an accomplished journalist. Currently affiliated with, Khushal is an expert in covering a range of sports topics with a specialization in motorsports, particularly NASCAR. His insightful articles explore the nuances of the sporting world, providing readers with comprehensive analysis and the latest updates. With a commitment to unbiased reporting, Khushal's expertise and authoritative voice make him a reliable source for sports enthusiasts.


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