Prior to the 2022 season, nobody would have guessed the season that Ross Chastain was going to have.
The Trackhouse Racing’s No. 1 Chevrolet driver was a surprise package in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. Not only did he manage to get two Cup wins, but he also appeared in the Championship 4 race for the first time, ahead of the likes of NASCAR veterans Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.
However, that is not the end of the story. He finished second only to eventual winner Joey Logano in the final 4 races.
“It’s not true” – NASCAR President says that drivers’ criticism regarding safety is not totally justified
Recently, Chastain revealed his insight into how he sees the races himself. In doing so, he said that he looks more toward the competitive aspect of the sport than numbers.
“I don’t have number-based goals,” said Chastain. “I haven’t for a long time. I used to, but I’ve learned it’s not healthy for me. So, it’s not number-based, it’s just to go compete and beat these guys. Sometimes that’s fifth, sometimes that’s 12th, sometimes that’s winning.
“Wherever that is, for me, it won’t be numbers-based. And I’m glad that I’ve built that into me because you can get so caught up if you’re on a bad stretch or have some failures mechanically or behind the wheel in crashes or bad finishes. It will snowball. It’s made me — in the past — have a couple of bad races and I tell myself, ‘Man, I’m in a slump,’ and then I have more bad races because I believe it.
“I don’t know what the goals will be internally at Trackhouse, but for me, it won’t be numbers-based. It’ll be the competition side.”
Having reached the peak of his career with NASCAR until now, Chastain will now have a more difficult task of maintaining or even surpassing the 2022 form. This for him is the biggest challenge in his career.
“The hardest part for us now is we’ve arrived — how do we stay here?” Chastain said. “I think that’s going to be the most challenging thing we’ve ever done. We thought 2022 was challenging but maintaining that level of competition with these teams that have done it for a long time may be our biggest challenge yet. But look at what we did this year. We’ve got every shot to do it again.”
At least we know that confidence will be high for the No. 1 driver going into the 2023 season. Having just won his first Cup race at 30, whether he is a late bloomer or one season wonder remains to be seen.