Ross Chastain – Wright Brand 250 Race Preview

Race: Wright Brand 250 (250 laps / 156.25 miles) | Race 10 of 23
Track: North Wilkesboro Speedway
Location: North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
Date & Time: Saturday, May 18th | 1:30 PM ET
Tune-In: FOX Sports 1 | Motor Racing Network (MRN) | Sirius XM Ch. 90

No. 45 N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program Chevrolet Silverado RST
Driver: Ross Chastain | Crew Chief: Phil Gould

– Chastain Returns: Ross Chastain will make his third of five planned NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series starts for Niece Motorsports in Saturday’s event at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Tracks remaining on his Truck Series schedule include Pocono Raceway on Friday, July 12th and Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park on Friday, July 19th.

– Chastain’s North Wilkesboro Stats: Chastain competed in last year’s NCTS race at North Wilkesboro where he pocketed a ninth-place finish. Having qualified for the Cup Series All-Star race as well, Chastain capped off the weekend with an 11th-place run in that exhibition event.

– Gould’s North Wilkesboro Stats: Gould’s lone start at North Wilkesboro Speedway resulted in a fourth-place finish with Carson Hocevar behind the wheel. Hocevar started on the outside pole and led 16 laps in last year’s event.

– On the Truck: Chastain’s No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado RST will race with support from the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program promoting the ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign. He will carry the familiar ‘Protect Your Melon’ colors he’s been associated with for years, including the signature watermelon stripes down the side of his truck.

– Recapping Darlington: Five years to the date of Niece Motorsports’ first race win, Ross Chastain delivered the team its ninth NASCAR Truck Series victory at Darlington Raceway. Chastain, who has driven for the team in some capacity since 2018, was emotional following the finish of the race which ended just past midnight. Team Owner, Al Niece, was in attendance to witness the victory, making it a special night of many reasons for the organization.

– Owner Points Outlook: Following Chastain’s victory in Darlington, the No. 45 team jumped up to seventh place in the owner points standings. The win solidified their spot in the owner Playoffs, and they are now only 10 points behind TRICON Garage’s No. 17 team in sixth.

– Honeycutt’s Double Duty Weekend: Though he might not be competing in the Truck Series event at North Wilkesboro on Saturday, Kaden Honeycutt will be running in both the CARS Tour Pro Late Model and Late Model Stock races held on Wednesday night. Honeycutt is chasing after the Pro Late Model championship – currently tied for the points lead through four races held so far, and will return to the seat of the No. 45 Chevrolet at the next race in Charlotte.

– Quoting Chastain: How big of a benefactor will it be to get these extra reps in on the repave before the All-Star race?

“Track time on any given weekend is always important, but especially here with it being the first race held on the repave. Last year was fun getting to race at North Wilkesboro for the first time, but the conditions are obviously going to be different. For me, that makes running the truck race that much more important. We’ve got some good momentum after last weekend and I think our guys will have another good shot to contend again.”

– Quoting Gould: Before last year’s race, your team was able to run the tire test, but this year you weren’t. Is there anything you can take away from that test or are you viewing this as a brand-new track?

“I mean, yes and no. You just have to recognize the differences that are there. To me, I think this track is going to be pretty similar to Richmond, so we’ll start out by bringing a similar setup to what we ran last year. At least we get a normal, full-length practice, but we basically will have to take everything we learned there last year with a grain of salt and adapt when we unload.”

About Niece Motorsports: 
Niece Motorsports is owned by United States Marine Corps Veteran Al Niece. In 2024, Niece Motorsports enters its ninth season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Niece also owns Niece Equipment, which has for over 40 years provided clients with reliable products at competitive prices. Niece Equipment’s reputation is built on service, integrity and dependability. The company provides water and fuel/lube trucks that are engineered with quality and durability in mind for the construction and mining industry. Follow the team on Facebook and Instagram @NieceMotorsports as well as X @NieceMotorsport.

About the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program: 

Dedicated to reducing the numbers of traffic crashes and fatalities in North Carolina, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program promotes efforts to reduce traffic crashes in North Carolina and promotes highway safety awareness through a variety of grants and safe-driving initiatives. 

These grants as well as initiatives – like Click It or TicketBooze It & Lose ItBikeSafe NCWatch For Me NC and Speed a Little. Lose a Lot. – help address issues such as impaired driving, seat belt use, speeding, distracted driving, motorcycle safety, bicycle safety, pedestrian safety and other aspects of highway safety.

GHSP also helps fund North Carolina’s Vision Zero initiative, which is working to meet the goal of zero deaths on the state’s roadways through community involvement and data-driven safety interventions.