Young driver to pilot No. 4 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Ross Chastain has inked a deal to drive for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller and pilot the team's No. 4 Chevrolet in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2015, the team announced. Chastain will have sponsorship from Watermelon.org for his car. The 22-year-old Alva, Florida native ran seven races last season in what was then-called the NASCAR Nationwide Series. His best finish came with a 10th-place result at Kentucky Speedway in September. Last season also marked Chastain's debut in the series. In addition, Chastain has driven in 44 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events over the course of four seasons. In those races, he has five top-fives, 12 top-10s and two Keystone Light Pole Awards. " Ross has an amazing level of experience for a young driver," team owner Johnny Davis said in a team release. "He brings a lot to our team. We're looking forward to seeing how far we can go this year with his input and the support of Watermelon.org and the National Watermelon Association. It's going to be a big year." For his part, Chastain is excited for the season to get started. "It's great to be involved with Watermelon.org, and we want to take them along for a great ride this year," Chastain said in a team release. "I'm looking forward to working with Johnny and his guys and making a mark this year in XFINITY ." Chastain joins Landon Cassill and Harrison Rhodes in the JD Motorsports stable of XFINITY Series drivers. Rhodes announced on Twitter two weeks ago that he was joining JD Motorsports. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Chastain moves to Ricky Benton Racing Enterprises, team plans to run 10 to 15 races
Chastain will pilot the No. 55 Viva Motorsports Chevrolet in the History 300
21-year-old tested third ThorSport Racing truck at Daytona
Unsecured ballast (lead weight) that becomes detached from a race car as well as the loss of a wheel or wheels due to improper installation will now result in a mandatory minimum four-race suspension for specific team personnel, according to a bulletin issued Wednesday by the sanctioning body. The infractions are P3 level penalties under the 2015 NASCAR Deterrence Policy. Previously the length of suspension was not specified, but listed as "for one or more races." According to the bulletin, the loss of a wheel or wheels due to improper installation would result in a minimum four-race suspension for the crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier of the lost wheel or wheels. For the loss or separation of ballast weight, the crew chief, car chief and head engineer would receive four-race suspensions. Disciplinary action for P3 penalties may also include: • Loss of 15 championship owner and driver points and/or • A monetary fine (varies depending on series) and/ro • Probation until the end of the calendar year for the crew chief and/or any other team members (as determined by NASCAR) or six months if the period following the notice of the penalty spans across two seasons. Because of the danger created by the loss of ballast or a wheel, NASCAR considers the violation a safety issue. The four-race mandatory suspension is for a first offense. At least two incidents of unsecured ballast have occurred this season, most notably at Iowa Speedway in May when XFINITY Series driver Jamie Dick was struck in the helmet by a weight that fell off the entry being driven by Ross Chastain . Dick was not injured. The No. 97 entry with XFINITY Series driver Peyton Sellers was also penalized this year for an improperly attached weight that fell out of Seller’s car at Dover International Speedway in May.
20-year-old finishes as runner-up for the second time this season
Points leader Crafton will start ninth
Ryan Reed post-race: 'I told him we can race like that and I'm totally fine' NEWTON, Iowa -- What opened up as a reasonably clean, meandering NASCAR XFINITY Series race turned into a regular Saturday night showdown, a swashbuckling smashfest in three acts that left bruises on fenders and egos alike at Iowa Speedway. After traveling 205 of an overtime 260 laps with a harmless three caution periods, short-track bedlam erupted in the late stages, potentially re-opening an old rift between teammates, ruffling the feathers of the defending series champion and sparking a post-race shove further back in the pack. The earliest sign that the U.S. Cellular 250 would not go quietly into the good Iowa night came with 21 laps left in regulation, when reigning champ Chase Elliott tangled with rookie Brandon Jones on the frontstretch in a contest for sixth place. Elliott, already frustrated by his late fade as the only front-runner to make a two-tire stop in the last exchange, keyed his radio to tell his JR Motorsports crew: "I'm pretty upset right now. That's all I'm going to say." Told that Jones accepted full blame over the his own radio, Elliott replied: "Yeeeeppp. They can tell that to the points tally." Jones was apologetic again after the race, telling NASCAR.com that he felt he was clear as he slid up the race track on the exit of Turn 4. He said he didn't have a chance to issue an apology in person with ninth-place finisher Elliott after the race. "I think he probably went back to his hauler, but I'll get back up with him (later) and try to explain what happened, for sure," said Jones, who finished 20th in just his second XFINITY start. "Me and Chase are really good friends and I didn't mean for that to happen, but can't do anything now about it. We'll go to the next one." The next one in terms of post-race flare-ups should make for another interesting team meeting this week at Roush Fenway Racing . Points leader Chris Buescher and teammate Bubba Wallace, who locked horns in May at Dover International Speedway, collided again with two laps left, pushing the race into overtime. Wallace, damaged in an earlier incident with Erik Jones entering pit road, caught the worst of it with fellow teammate Ryan Reed and the retiring Kenny Wallace sliding behind him in the aftermath. Wallace dismounted from his No. 6 Ford post-race, exchanged words with Buescher's crew chief Scott Graves, and leaned in to Buescher's window for a succinct post-race talk. "I think he said, 'good job.' I just grabbed him really quick," Wallace said. "We screwed up so bad in this race. It was miserable. I let my guys down. I got into Erik there on pit road and that put us in a corner. Just hate it, man. I screwed up tonight. Just paying for it." Asked about any potential tension within the Roush ranks, Wallace smiled and shrugged: "He's racing. We're racing hard. That's it. Nothing to it. I just told him good job and we'll go to Watkins Glen." Buescher, the winner here at the .875-mile track in May, was aiming for a rare Iowa season sweep, but on the first green-white-checkered attempt that followed, his No. 60 was heavily damaged by the sliding car of Brennan Poole . He limped home to a 13th-place finish, two spots behind Wallace, but retained his lead in the XFINITY standings. "Our guys did a heck of a job and we brought back a heck of a car to Iowa and we should've been in really good contention for this thing," Buescher said. "You know, it's just tough. We had so many restarts there late. Guys are just, they're tough -- just dive-bomb it in there and it's tough." Pressed for specifics about his contact with Wallace, Buescher declined to tell: "I'm not talking about that one. … Nope. Nothing to say." Caught in part of the crossfire was Reed, who soldiered to a 19th-place finish and had fireworks of his own to come. In trying to assess the hard-nosed racing between Buescher and Wallace, he said he felt certain the issues would be resolved in time. "They're both great drivers and I have a lot of respect for both of them and get along with both of 'em. I can't really get in the middle of it, but at the same time, I understand how it can be racing teammates," Reed said. "You want to run everyone as hard as you can, just seems, like you said, they're magnets and I'm not sure why it's like that. They're both great drivers, I have a lot of respect for them, and I'm sure they'll get through it." Reed's issues weren't over, though, as his No. 16 Ford scraped across the start-finish line in 19th-place at the checkered flag. Very little cool-down happened on the cool-down lap, with Reed marching over to the No. 4 Chevrolet and giving its driver, Ross Chastain , a swift shove. "There were a lot of wrecks there at the end. It's part of short-track racing," Reed said. "My getting at the 4, like I said in my other interview, it's kind of the pot calling the kettle black because I got into the 20 ( Kenny Wallace ), but the 20 was very unintentional. I just went up to the 4 and he just flat-out told me, 'Hey man, it was a green-white-checkered,' so I have a hard time with that. I have a really hard time with going in there and just intentionally banzai-ing someone and punting them out of the way. It's fine. I told him we can race like that and I'm totally fine with that." Chastain claimed said he wanted to see video of the incident before making a judgment call. "I haven't seen a replay yet, so I can't say too much. I don't want to because I don't want to overstep what I don't know," Chastain told NASCAR.com. "What I remember -- and it might be completely wrong -- is I got to the bottom of (Turn) 1 and the 16 was right outside of me. I thought we were pretty low on the race track and we might've gotten together a little bit. It looks like there's a little mark on my fender, and I just got by him and there was mayhem and chaos everywhere. I don't know. Until I see a replay, I don't know. "Me and him have raced hard all year. It's good for us that we're racing against guys like that because people think we shouldn't be, but we are. When we come to a track like Iowa, we can show what this team's made out of. I'm proud of my guys. I hate it that he got torn up, but I didn't feel like I was too in the wrong, but I'll have to watch a replay to see." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
RELATED: Complete race results " Updated series standings DARLINGTON, S.C. -- You could call polesitter Denny Hamlin 's victory in Saturday's VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway "dominating," but the NASCAR XFINITY Series event wasn't without its share of drama -- courtesy of a fuel shortage and Hamlin's own Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Daniel Suarez . Hamlin Led 117 of 147 laps at the 1.366-mile speedway, but he didn't make the winning pass until Lap 145, when he surged past Suarez, who was stretching fuel after foregoing a final pit stop in hopes of stealing the victory. The win was Hamlin's third of the season (all from the pole), his fourth at Darlington (all from the pole) and the 14th of his career. In a 1-2-3 finish for JGR, Kyle Busch got past Suarez, who finished third, to start the final circuit and came home in the runner-up position. But Suarez secured a $100,000 bonus as the top finisher among eligible series regulars in the final XFINITY Dash 4 Cash event of the season. Suarez also won $100,000 for Kurt Kolstad, a race fan paired with Suarez for the Dash 4 Cash finale. When Hamlin brought his No. 20 Toyota to pit road under caution on Lap 72, he returned to the track after a lightning fast stop during which his team left the fuel cell slightly short of a full load. That meant Hamlin would have to pit before his primary pursuers, Busch and Kevin Harvick , and hope the race would run caution-free for the entire cycle of stops. Hamlin got his wish. After pitting on Lap 122 and gaining time on fresh tires, a relieved Hamlin saw the race run caution-free to the end, giving him just enough time to catch Suarez, who was saving fuel on old rubber, before the laps ran out. "I'm almost glad we didn't (get the car full of fuel)," Hamlin said after the race. "We didn't want a caution to fall and trap us there, but I had scraped the wall and kind of misjudged my line one time and got a little right-side damage, and the car just stopped turning. "I don't know if the right side would have made it or not (under the pressure of all-out racing)." Harvick led 16 laps and finished fourth, his chances thwarted when the race ran green to the finish. "The 9 ( Chase Elliott ) hit the wall or was blowing up or something, and we stayed out a few extra laps, thinking that the caution was going to come out, and got a little bit behind," Harvick said. "The 20 (Hamlin) had the best car. We were better in the long run -- we could run him back down and race with him, but on the short run, those guys were a little bit better than we were." Chris Buescher ran fifth and extended his series lead to 29 points over Ty Dillon , who finished 15th, and 35 over Elliott, who came home 24th, three laps down, after his engine soured late in the race. Joey Logano , Kyle Larson , Landon Cassill , Regan Smith and Ross Chastain completed the top 10.
@nascarcasm envisions Roush's phone blowing up RELATED: All content from @nascarcasm " Follow @nascarcasm It was a busy weekend for Roush Fenway Racing . Chris Buescher and Darrell Wallace Jr . had another on-track incident. Ryan Reed shoved Ross Chastain . Elliott Sadler was peeved after qualifying. Which, of course, led to @nascarcasm wondering what Jack Roush's cell phone might look like -- assuming the team owner texts. RELATED: Night of drama in Iowa " Watch Reed's push