Kaulig Racing has dominated the superspeedways in the NASCAR Xfinity Series of late.
For Ross Chastain, that trend needs to continue in Saturday‘s Ag-Pro 300 (4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Chastain finished on the lead lap in last Saturday‘s Xfinity Series Playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That‘s about the only good thing that can be said about his effort. Chastain came home 16th, last among the 12 playoff drivers and dropped to ninth in the standings, two points below the current cutline for the Round of 8.
But where other drivers might approach a Talladega event with a sense of dread, Chastain sees racing at the 2.66-mile track as an opportunity. In the first race at Talladega this season, he finished second to Kaulig Racing teammate Justin Haley. At Daytona International Speedway in August, Chastain wrecked part-time AJ Allmendinger as they ran 1-2 in the final corner to hand Haley another win.
The bottom line, though, is the Kaulig Chevrolets, powered by Earnhardt Childress Racing engines, have been the class of the field at the superspeedways this year, and that bodes well for Chastain‘s chances.
“Kaulig Racing and ECR engines are incredible at these superspeedways,” Chastain says. “They let AJ Allmendinger, Justin Haley and myself make the aggressive moves that we want and that we need to make to try to go win this race.
“We‘re below the cutline behind our competition right now. It‘s not where we want to be. I made some pretty big mistakes behind the wheel and got in the fence early at Las Vegas (Motor Speedway). It‘s not how I need to be performing in these playoffs, so lesson learned there. We will try to go to Talladega to just do what we normally do, go control this race and try to win.”
Thanks to last Saturday‘s victory in Las Vegas — his eighth of the season — Chase Briscoe is the only driver locked into the Round of 8 in the playoffs. Everyone else will be scrambling for position in one of the most unpredictable races of the season.