The fun police have struck again…
Last November, the NASCAR world (and the sports world in general) was in awe at Ross Chastain‘s electrifying move at Martinsville to put himself into the championship four.
Chastain entered turn three on the last lap needing to gain spots to put himself in position to compete for the championship the following week. So in one of the most incredible video game-type moves that anybody had ever seen, he put his car against the wall and floored it, riding the outside wall all the way around and slingshotting himself past Denny Hamlin to secure the final spot in the championship four and knock Hamlin out of the trophy race.
I mean, it looked like it was fake it was so incredible.
But some of Chastain’s fellow competitors weren’t a fan of the move, with Kyle Larson even calling it “embarrassing” (despite the fact that Larson had tried to do the same thing at Darlington in 2021).
But apparently NASCAR agreed with all the naysayers, and they’ve announced that the move will no longer be allowed in the upcoming 2023 season.
Now, NASCAR isn’t issuing a new rule to ban the move. Instead, the sanctioning body warned competitors that it will use current rules to issue penalties to anyone who tries it.
According to NASCAR, any driver who pulls the move that Chastain did last year will receive a time penalty under rule rule 10.5.2.6.A, which states:
“Safety is a top priority for NASCAR and NEM (NASCAR Event Management). Therefore, any violations deemed to compromise the safety of an Event or otherwise pose a dangerous risk to the safety of Competitors, Officials, spectators, or others are treated with the highest degree of seriousness. Safety violations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.”
NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition Elton Sawyer confirmed that the video game move would in fact be a penalty going forward:
“Basically, if there’s an act that we feel that compromises the safety of our competitors, officials, spectators, we’re going to take that seriously. And we will penalize for that act going forward. Basically, what it would be is a lap or time penalty at the end of the race, so that move at Martinsville would be a penalty.”
But isn’t this a hypocritical move by NASCAR? After Chastain’s dramatic finish, the sport and NBC were replaying the hell out of the move to promote the championship race, and you know that you’ll see it in every commercial for this year’s Martinsville races.
Either way, looks like we won’t be seeing it on the track in 2023.
It was fun while it lasted…