Ryan Newman is still sidelined after his brutal crash during the last lap of the Daytona 500 on Monday night, so Ross Chastain will be filling in for him at Sunday's Pennzoil 400 in Las Vegas. Chastain is already gearing up for the appearance, as images from Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday show. During practice, Chastain was shown for the first time in the No. 6 car, which still featured Newman's name about the driver's side window.
Chastain, 27, will be the seventh driver to drive Roush Fenway's No. 6 car. Aside from Newman, the car's previous drivers include Mark Martin, David Ragan, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Matt Kenseth. His start on Sunday will be his fifth start in the NASCAR Cup Series, but has had victories in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series. He is currently a full-time driver in for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series race. He also raced in the Daytona 500 on Monday, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing and Spire Motorsports.
As promising young driver with relatively open availability in the Cup Series, Chastain filling in for Newman is a no-brainer. Roush Fenway's president, Steve Newmark, noted his gratitude for Chastain's teams for their flexibility with the driver.
“First and foremost, our focus remains with Ryan and his family as he continues to recover,” Newmark said in a release. “We also want to express our sincere gratitude to all of those who have offered support and taken the time to send their thoughts and prayers to Ryan, his family and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing.
"The NASCAR community has long prided itself on being a close-knit family. That is never more evident than during these types of moments, and we want to express our appreciation to everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing as well as Kaulig Racing for allowing Ross to fill in for Ryan in the No. 6 on such short notice.”
Chastain is also humbled by the opportunity, to fill Newman's shoes as he noted on Twitter.
"No one could ever take the place of Ryan Newman on the track, and I can’t wait to have him back," Chastain wrote. "As we continue to pray for a full and speedy recovery, I’ll do my best to make him and everyone at Roush Fenway Racing proud."
Photo Credit: Will Lester/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images