AUSTIN, TEXAS – Ross Chastain victoriously smashed a watermelon after becoming the 10th driver to get their first career NASCAR Cup Series win on a road course in the modern era
Chastain led four times for 31 of the 69 laps run in Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas.
Chastain held the lead during overtime but was bumped by A.J. Allmendinger then passed by Alex Bowman on the final lap. Chastain paid Allmendinger back and slipped by Bowman for his first Cup win.
“I don’t know, it’s insane,” Chastain said during the frontstretch interview. “To go up against some of the best with AJ, I mean, I know he is going to be upset with me, but we raced hard, both of us, and he owes me one – but when it comes to a Cup win, man, I can’t let that go down without a fight.”
Ross Chastain became the first driver to get their first career win on a road course since Christopher Bell at the Daytona road course in Feb. 2021.
Chastain’s first win came in his 121st start, after scoring two consecutive, career-best 2nd-place finishes at Atlanta and Phoenix.
Chastain and Bell are among 10 NASCAR Cup Series drivers who have earned their first win on a road course in the modern era, as follows:
- Ross Chastain – Circuit of the Americas, March 2022
- Christopher Bell – Daytona road course, Feb. 2021
- Chase Elliott – Watkins Glen, Aug. 2018
- A.J. Allmendinger – Watkins Glen, Aug. 2014
- Marcos Ambrose – Watkins Glen, Aug. 2011
- Juan Pablo Montoya – Sonoma, June 2007
- Steve Park – Watkins Glen, Aug. 2000
- Bill Elliott – Riverside, Nov. 1983
- Tim Richmond – Riverside, June 1982
- Mark Donohue – Riverside, Jan. 1973
Donohue’s win was Roger Penske’s first NASCAR Cup Series win as a team owner. Donohue also won the 1972 Indianapolis 500 driving for Penske and made 14 F1 starts for him – in 1971, 1974 and 1975 – before his untimely death in Aug. 1975.
Like Donohue, Chastain earned the first win for his team, Trackhouse Racing.