|Ross Chastain and the "Watermelon Truck"|
Chastain’s “Watermelon Truck” – backed by the National Watermelon Promotions Board, various State Watermelon Associations and Melon 1, the largest distributor of watermelon on the East coast -- has received plenty of attention on the race track, and the 19-year old Chastain has gained experience with every start.
Now, however, the team may be forced to curtail its on-track activities with just 16 of 22 races complete.
"We have commitments from the Watermelon industry for three of the remaining seven races," said team owner Bobby Dotter this week. "They have been great partners for Ross and our team all year. It has been very enjoyable working with them and we look forward to the upcoming races we have together. They have upheld our original agreement and we believe we have given back an incredible value with all exposure that Ross has received.”
Dotter said the team’s ability to race on a tighter budget than most gives him hope that backing can be found to keep Chastain on-track for the rest of the season.
“We run a lean organization,” he said. “And that has allowed us to get as far as we have this year, (and) it's how we have survived for over 11 years in the Truck Series. Our guys work as hard as anyone in the garage and everyone wears multiple hats to make things happen. We don't need the large complicated deals to make our partnerships work and give a return on investment."
Dotter said he has sponsors who have shown interest in both of his Truck Series entries, adding, “Right now both the #07 and #08 trucks are locked into the Top 25 in owner points, so we have guaranteed starting positions for both trucks."
Photo: John Harrelson/Getty Images North America