WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WETM) – NASCAR driver Ross Chastain and Niece Motorsports will be meeting fans in Watkins Glen and promoting the importance of seat belt use through the “Protect Your Melon” campaign.

Chastain will bring the Niece Motorsports race truck and meet with fans near the entrance to Watkins Glen State Park on the morning of August 5. Later that afternoon, Chastain will be at the Watkins Glen Village Square to sign autographs and meet fans. He will also make an appearance at the Department of Motor Vehicles booth at Watkins Glen International on Friday morning, August 6.

Public Appearances

  • Thursday, August 5, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. near the entrance to Watkins Glen State Park, 106 S. Franklin St.
  • Thursday, August 5, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Watkins Glen Village Square on the corner of Franklin St. and 3rd Street, (Rain location: Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, 214 N. Franklin Street)
  • Friday, August 6, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (dependent on racing schedule) at the DMV Booth, Watkins Glen International Racetrack

“I really enjoy coming to New York to promote seat belt awareness and race at Watkins Glen,” said Chastain. “Whether in a race or on the street, crashes can happen fast, and being buckled up, both front and back, is crucial for everyone’s safety. I hope everyone enjoys the fast and exciting racing at Watkins Glen and remember to always protect your melon and buckle up, every seat, every time!”

Win a Virtual One-on-One with Chastain

Additionally, racing fans have a chance to win a virtual meet-and-greet with Chastain. Cutouts featuring Chastain’s image and a contest QR code are now located in 100 Tops Stores in the Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier and Western New York regions. Fans who scan the code will be entered to win a personal, one-on-one interview with Ross. The contest runs through 5 p.m. on August 15. Two winners will be selected at that time, and separate Zoom sessions with Chastain will be conducted on August 18.

In the most recent survey, 94 percent of front seat drivers and passengers in the state were wearing their seat belts.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, if you buckle up in the front seat of a passenger car, you can reduce your risk of fatal injury by 45 percent. Data from the New York State Department of Health shows that people who aren’t wearing seat belts are also 5 times more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury.