Ross Chastain won Friday night’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway to claim his first career Truck Series victory.
Chastain, driving the No. 45 Chevrolet for Niece Motorsports, inherited the lead from Stewart Friesen with three laps to go when Friesen ran out of gas.
The win comes in Chastain’s 66th Truck Series start. It is his second national series win after he won with Chip Ganassi Racing in the Xfinity Series last year. The win is the first for Niece Motorsports in 90 starts.
After his win with Ganassi, Chastain was announced as driving for the team full-time in Xfinity in 2019. But after primary sponsor DC Solar was raided by the FBI in mid-December, CGR shut down its Xfinity program in January due to a lack of sponsorship.
Chastain returned to JD Motorsports with a three-race deal with Kaulig Racing. He’s racing part-time for Niece Motorsports in the Truck Series as well as competing full-time in Cup with Premium Motorsports.
“This is what sports is all about, comebacks, man,” an emotional Chastain told Fox Sports 1. “We had the rope by the tail last fall. Everything got taken away from us. We didn’t quit though. … I’m going to celebrate this a lot more than I did the last one. After the last one I thought they were going to come a lot easier. But it’s not. It’s so hard to win.”
Friday night’s race was Chastain’s 28th consecutive national series start of the year.
“I’ve been called an underdog my whole career and I’m tired of that,” Chastain said in the media center. “I get so sick of hearing that. I know they mean well when they say it. But man, I just want to win and that’s why I race everything I can.”
Friesen, who led 87 laps, finished 15th. On Friesen’s last pit stop, he left his stall with only two fresh tires, not knowing it was a four-tire stop, which also resulted in less fuel.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Stewart Friesen
STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen
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You said it @RossChastain, that’s what it’s all about! Congrats man!
— Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) May 11, 2019
Got that right. Doing a great job! Congrats @RossChastain
— Chase Elliott (@chaseelliott) May 11, 2019
Nobody said racing was fair. And that’s why I love it!
— Stewart Friesen (@StewartFriesen) May 11, 2019