NASCAR: Ross Chastain Earns First Career Cup Series Win at 2022 Circuit of the Americas

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Well, NASCAR fans, the 6th Cup Series race of the season is officially behind us. After a nail-biting, 9-caution race that saw the Cup Series drivers winding through the 20 turns and 3.426 miles of COTA, Trackhouse Racing driver Ross Chastain captured his 1st win of the season at the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix!

After a rough start to the NASCAR season, the No. 1 driver’s luck has been steadily increasing. Though the first two races saw Chastain finish in the rear of the field, he managed to take 3rd place in Las Vegas. He then climbed the ranks a little further, finishing in 2nd place in the last two races. And finally, he captured his first victory today in the challenging road course of COTA.

Now, this victory is pretty special. Ross Chastain has a less than picture-perfect history with NASCAR. Despite years of attempts, Chastain never won a race. And after losing a sponsor in the 2018 season, it looked like Chastain’s career was at an end.

Three years later, however, Trackhouse Racing announced that Ross Chastain would pilot their No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro. And he’s been racking up impressive performances ever since.

This afternoon’s victory at COTA marks Ross Chastain’s first-ever victory in a Cup Series race. We saw watermelon guts next to a Cup Series stock car at last.

COTA Provided a Challenge to Ross Chastain, Other NASCAR Drivers

Today’s course makes Ross Chastain’s first-ever win in the Cup Series even more impressive. The EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix was a tough race for even the most seasoned drivers. The Circuit of the Americas road course is only nine years old, and this year’s race was only the second time in history that the Cup Series has rolled through the race track in Austin.

On top of that, the 2022 season brought with it the Next Gen stock cars, NASCAR’s 7th generation Cup Series vehicle. This means that, even for the drivers who competed in last year’s flight, this year’s COTA was an entirely new experience.

Climbing a 133-foot hill and then skidding directly into a hairpin corner is tough no matter what. However, the unique track is no doubt even more difficult in the unfamiliar cars.

COTA is now behind us, but NASCAR drivers are already looking forward to next week’s Toyota Owners 400 in the Richmond Raceway in Virginia.

This year’s Cup Series season has been nothing short of exhilarating, and we’re only on race number six! With 20 races to go until the Cup Series playoffs, there’s sure to be no shortage of excitement in the coming weeks.