After making seven XFINITY Series starts in 2014, Ross Chastain has landed a full-time 2015 drive in NASCAR’s No. 2 national series with JD Motorsports.
Chastain will drive the No. 4 Chevrolet Camaro with support from Watermelon.org and the National Watermelon Association.
His connection with the refreshing fruit goes beyond sponsorship, as the 22-year-old Floridian was born and then grew up working on a farm that’s heavily involved in the watermelon industry.
“It’s great to be involved with Watermelon.org, and we want to take them along for a great ride this year,” Chastain said in a team release. “I’m looking forward to working with [team owner] Johnny [Davis] and his guys and making a mark this year in [the XFINITY Series].
“Ross has an amazing level of experience for a young driver,” Davis said. “He brings a lot to our team. We’re looking forward to seeing how far we can go this year with his input and the support of Watermelon.org and the National Watermelon Association. It’s going to be a big year.”
Chastain will team up with Sprint Cup veteran Landon Cassill in JD’s No. 01 Chevrolet and Harrison Rhodes in a third, as-of-now-unnumbered car.
Last season, Chastain’s best finish in the XFINITY Series was a 10th-place showing at Kentucky in the fall. He also made three starts in the Camping World Truck Series, where he ran the full schedule in 2012 (one Top-5, four Top-10s) and the majority of events in 2013 (four Top-5s, seven Top-10s in 14 starts).
Defending MotoGP series champion Marc Marquez underwent a second surgery Monday after a titanium plate inserted in his fractured right arm sustained damage. The Repsol Honda Team said in a statement that it’ll be two days before the recovery period is determined.
Marquez was injured during a crash in the July 19 season opener. He underwent an initial surgery July 21 in Barcelona, and doctors said there was no nerve damage.
The eight-time champion was cleared to race in the season’s second event Jerez. But Marquez decided to skip the July 26 race after experiencing discomfort while riding the No. 93 bike in a July 25 practice.
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He had planned to race in Sunday’s grand prix at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic in hopes of returning to defend his title. His status for Sunday apparently will be unclear until at least Wednesday.
In a statement Monday, the team said the titanium plate in Marquez’s right arm successfully was replaced after stress accumulation. Marquez will stay in the hospital for two days recovering.
Dr Xavier Mir, who performed the surgery at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus, said in the release that “Marc Marquez underwent surgery 13 days ago and today he returned to the operating room. The first operation was successful, what was not expected was that the plate was insufficient. An accumulation of stress in the operated area has caused the plate to suffer some damage, so today the titanium plate has been removed and replaced by a new fixation.
“The rider has not felt pain during this period. He has always followed the medical advice given and the feeling from his body. Unfortunately, an overstress has caused this issue. Now we have to wait 48 hours to understand the recovery time.”