NASCAR: Ross Chastain Says Chicago Street Race is About ‘Grow or Die’ Mentality

by Jonathan Howard

In the last year or so, NASCAR has made a lot of changes. The next one is the Chicago street race, and Ross Chastain is buzzing about it. In case you couldn’t tell this season, or any of his other previous seasons in stock car racing – Chastain is good on the road. He’s good just about anywhere this season, but his road course racing has been very solid.

He earned his first career Cup Series win at COTA. Giving a little bump and run before charging off to the finish. So, it makes sense that he’s ready for a new version of that style of racing. It’s not the same, but it’s closer to street racing than ovals are.

Ross Chastain is Pumped for Chicago

“You’re going to be able to watch races in ways that you’ve never been able to before,” Chastain said enthusiastically to “Basically, imagine being in the Goodyear Blimp all the time from a building and looking down from that angle. Knowing that there are like real skyscrapers right across that wall and we’ll be able to see them inside the cars at times. We’ll focus on the track specifically, but just the art of driving through a city like that is unknown to me, and it’s really exciting.

“In practice, it’ll be super important to push the limits and define how deep we can go. These Next Gen cars have incredible braking capability, better than I’ve ever felt in a stock car. And finding that edge is going to be tough.”

As for the marketing standpoint – he didn’t mince his words. This is more than just a new race, this is a chance to expand NASCAR to new audiences and give current and new fans a product that is exciting and evolving.

“To me, it’s grow or die. We have to keep growing, we have to keep expanding.”

You could compare that statement to his style f driving as well. If Ross Chastain is in the race, he’s either in front, not close behind, the car is beaten to hell and back, or a combination of these options. His crew is no stranger to duct tape work.

NASCAR Won’t Return to Road America in 2023

Now, here’s the bad news with the news today. We also have to accept the fact that the NASCAR Cup Series is not going back to Road America in 2023. With a three-year deal in Chicago, that means we might not see a Road America Cup race for a while. Or, another road course would be bumped in favor of bringing the Wisconsin track back.

Ben Kennedy made the announcement in Chicago today. However, he won’t rule out a return. The future could hold many possibilities. However, in the very near future – we won’t be getting an exciting finish like Tyler Reddick this season at Road America.

Still, drivers like Ross Chastain are going to be glad to have a street course challenge. He’s going to race fast – sometimes without braking when he should – and wins races.