Chip Ganassi Racing announced Friday that they would shut down their Xfinity program for the 2019 season. This move comes after sponsor DC Solar was raided by the FBI last month.
A general rule of thumb, if the FBI raids your office and home you generally can’t keep sponsoring a NASCAR team. Unless you’re Pilot/Flying J then you can but generally, it’s a hard no.
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) January 4, 2019
Ross Chastain was slated to drive the #42 in 2019 with sponsorship from DC Solar. That deal is now gone and Chastain is left without a full-time ride for the 2019 season with Daytona 44 days away. Chastain does have a deal in place to race for Premium Motorsports in the Cup Series in 2019. The Ganassi deal would have allowed him to run for a championship in 2019, a championship he was considered a favorite for.
In 2018 Chastain started three races for Ganassi, he won at Las Vegas, should have won Darlington and finished second at Dover. Chastain did everything in his power to showcase his talent. “Betting on yourself” has become a recent trend among drivers that don’t bring sponsorship. Chastain appears to be back in that position again in 2019.
For Ganassi, they will continue to run their two Cup Series programs full-time in 2019. DC Solar sponsored the #42 car for 12 races and the #1 car for 3 races in 2018. That is a hefty bit of the schedule for Ganassi to work on filling for Larson in 2019 assuming DC was returning for the same amount of races.
Ultimately this is terrible news not only for Chastain but also the health of the Xfinity Series. Roush Fenway Racing announced Thursday they would not field an Xfinity team in 2019. Throw Ganassi in now and the series is down three full-time teams. At a time the series definitely needs more competitive teams they continue to lose them.
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