Ross Chastain Pulls Off Video Game Move To Advance To The Championship 4 At Phoenixby Hunter Thomas October 30, 2022 1 comment
MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Ross Chastain pulled off a crazy, video game-style move in the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway to advance to the Championship 4 of the NASCAR Playoffs.
On the final lap, Chastain was below the Championship 4 cutline, but as he entered the final corners, he drove his Trackhouse Racing No. 1 Moose Fraternity Chevrolet straight into the wall and used the momentum to bypass enough cars to advance to the Championship round at Phoenix Raceway. He was in the 10th position in Turn 3 and ended up finishing fifth; however, Brad Keselowski was disqualified, so Chastain was credited with a fourth-place finish.
“Oh, played a lot of NASCAR 2005 on the game cube with Chad growing up,” Chastain said. “You can get away with it. I never knew if it would actually work.”
Chastain also ran the fastest-ever NASCAR Cup Series lap at Martinsville Speedway thanks to the Hail Mary effort. Many NASCAR fans try the move in video games, and even Chastain said that’s where the idea came from, but to actually pull the move off in real life is quite bold. He had to take his hands off the wheel just before the car hit the wall and hope that the access gate in the exit of Turn 4 was flush with the wall.
“I mean, I did that when I was eight-years-old,” Chastain said. “I grabbed fifth gear, asked off of two on the last lap if we needed it, and we did. I couldn’t tell who was leading. I made the choice, grabbed fifth gear down the back. Full committed. Basically let go of the wheel, hoping I didn’t catch the turn four access gate or something crazy. But I was willing to do it.”
Chastain just narrowly beat Denny Hamlin to the line, and while the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was eliminated from the NASCAR Playoffs, he wasn’t mad about the move.
“Great move,” Hamlin said. “Brilliant. Certainly a great move. When you have no other choice, it certainly is easy to do that. But well executed.”
Chastain will now join Joey Logano, Christopher Bell and Chase Elliott in the Championship 4. Not only that, but Chastain knocked Chase Elliott’s car out of the Owner’s Playoffs, and now his team will also compete for that title.
“Well, I hope everybody remembers that two years ago in the fall of 2020, I went down to the Southern 500 with Spire Motorsports,” Chastain said. “It was a big deal for us to race with sticker tires on. We had a podcast sponsoring the car. It was a big deal to beat one car. Single-digit laps down. That was two years ago at the Southern 500. To be here fighting for a championship now, it’s so surreal.”
Live coverage of the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway will broadcast live on NBC and MRN on November 6 at 3 p.m. ET.