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Who Is Ross Chastain? Everything To Know About The 'Race For The Championship' Star

"Race For The Championship" will see Ross Chastain compete to take home the NASCAR Cup Series in the 2022 season. 

By Tyler McCarthy
Rftc Ross Chastain

Among the many drivers competing for the NASCAR Cup Series on USA Network’s “Race For The Championship” is The Watermelon Man himself, Ross Chastain. Unlike his competition, though, Chastain entered the 2022 season having undergone a lot of change when it comes to his professional career. 

How to Watch

Catch up on past episodes of Race For The Championship on Peacock

Chastain, 29, Is currently among the leads in the NASCAR Cup Series standings but holds the distinction of being NASCAR’s busiest driver. According to his website, he has logged 200 starts in the organization’s top three national touring series. He broke onto the scene with his first win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2018, where he swept all three race stages. He would go on to win six more races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck series. 

After finishing second in the Camping World Truck Series in 2019 (and winning the year’s most popular driver accolade), it seemed like nothing could stop him. That momentum kept up until change was forced upon him.

In 2022, he was forced to make a move to a new team. This year’s Cup Series marks his first run racing the Trackhouse Racing Team’s No. 1 Chevrolet full-time. Previously, he drove the No. 42 for Chip Ganassi Racing before the team was sold and he had to take his talents elsewhere. 

Regardless of what team he’s on or what car he’s racing, Chastain is a force to be reckoned with on the track. His aggressive style has even caused friction among fellow racers like Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson. When his methods lead to success, though, he brings it back to his childhood roots. He picked up the nickname The Watermelon Man due to his propensity to smash the fruit any time he wins a big race. The move harkens back to his roots in Alva, Florida where his family owns a robust watermelon farm called JDI Farms, according to Sports Illustrated

When it comes to the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series, fans will quickly see that Chastain is doing everything he can to smash another watermelon. He hopes to take home his first Cup Series championship and is already on track to do it. So far he’s scored two victories at Circuit of the Americas and Talladega Superspeedway, along with eight top 5 and 11 top 10 finishes. His website notes he’s also been the lead for 426 laps and, like all great NASCAR drivers, shows no signs of slowing down. 

You can see Chastain’s life on and off the racetrack when “Race For The Championship” premieres on USA Network Thursday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. You can catch up with all things NASCAR on Peacock.