NASCAR longshots to win 2024 title: No. 2 – Ross Chastain
Trackhouse Racing Team’s Ross Chastain is listed at +1600. In his first season with the Justin Marks and Pitbull-owned team in 2022, he won two races and made it to the Championship 4 en route to a runner-up finish in the standings behind Joey Logano.
It was said that he and the team took a step back in 2023, and to some extent, that was true, with the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet seeing a 33% reduction in both top five finishes and top 10 finishes. But he still won two more races, and his laps led total of 640 nearly matched his 2022 total of 692.
The “step back” wasn’t nearly as huge as some might think, and considering he ruffled far fewer feathers down the stretch in 2023 than he did in 2022 (and in early 2023), you might even argue that he made a bigger step forward.
Perhaps most importantly, he won the season finale at Phoenix Raceway, becoming the first driver in the Championship 4 era to win the Championship 4 race despite not being a championship-eligible driver. And he didn’t just win the race; he dominated it, leading 157 of the final 196 laps.
After an early elimination in the playoffs, surely a season-ending victory at a track where he and the team know they need to perform well to win a title should give them a sense of confidence entering the 2024 season. They know that if they can get back to the Championship 4 in 2024, they have a great shot.