Ross Chastain has, no doubt, been a polarizing figure the last couple of years.  Me?  I like the guy. He’s personable and has worked hard to get where he is today.  And, he’s earned it.

I’ve told you many times over Chastain’s climb to the top of the sport, that he’s been the victim of the time-honored tradition of veterans trying to intimidate the newcomers that they see as threats.  The hope is the newcomers will back down and disappear.  Chastain, to his credit, hasn’t backed down.

Have there been lessons learned along the way?  Absolutely.  But, to his team owner, Justin Marks’ credit, he’s stood behind his driver and let Chastain digest the lessons while knowing he still had the confidence of those who supported him.

I don’t know that Chastain could put into words what that Nashville win really meant.  It was his first on a track that wasn’t referred to as a “wild card” and it put to rest the rumblings that he couldn’t win without being overly aggressive.

Yep, the Watermelon Man is here to stay.  And, the sport is better with him in it.