Watch the video of the move that brought the penalties below
On Sunday, NASCAR unloaded in Speedway, Indiana. It was the second annual race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course for the NASCAR Cup Series.
Watch the video of the move by Ross Chastain and Austin Dillon below.
Several late race spins brought a caution and put the race into Overtime. On the final restart, Reddick cleared himself for the lead into turn one.
Behind him, they ran four wide for 2nd. On previous restarts, being four wide resulted in inevitable contact as drivers ran out of room.
Chastain was on the outside of that four wide situation. He attempted to brake, at first. Then, he gassed it up, passed the corner and took the access road.
As he re-entered the track, he was just ahead of Reddick. However, Reddick had momentum and drove by to take the lead.
As they rolled through the back portion of the course, Chastain was all over his bumper. Chastain drove it deep into the chicane and took the lead.
Reddick was able to work his way back by. It wouldn’t have mattered as Chastain had a penalty on the way.
It appeared to be a creative way to take the lead as commentators questioned if the move to skip turn one was done on purpose. After the race, Chastain stated that it was a move done based on the reaction of his four wide situation.
Austin Dillon also used the access road on the same restart.
Chastain crossed the finish line in 2nd. However, NASCAR penalized both Chastain and Dillon after the race relegating both of them deeper in the field.
Ross Chastain comments
“I was trying not to be in the carnage there in turn one,” Ross Chastain told NBC Sports.
“I thought we were four wide and I couldn’t go any further right. Decided to take the NASCAR access lane.”
Chastain was asked if he used the access road on purpose in an attempt to shorten the lap.
“No. Just pure reaction there.”
“I took it in practice. Just overshooting turn one.”
Chastain clarified, “Went to not get hit. I merged back on where I merged.”
Chastain thought he followed the rules
That access road was given to drivers in the case that the miss turn one. It was discussed prior to the race.
However, in the driver’s meeting video, NASCAR stated that missing turns 1, 5, 6, 7, 10 or 12 requires a stop and go penalty. The stop and go penalty would be preformed in turn 12, not in the pit lane.
“It’s their rule right,” Chastain added.
“It’s their sandbox. If we have a penalty, we have a penalty.”
“I thought I knew the rule though. And, I thought I abided by the rule. I didn’t do it maliciously or preemptively. We hadn’t planned for that.”
“There was just three cars to my right. Everybody was running into each other. I started turning but I couldn’t see how we would make it and I was going to be in the grass.”
“I tried to take the alternative. Which they give us in turn one and turn twelve.”
“Chastain added, I didn’t think I had to give any position back. Being I did it, the way they laid it out.”
Tyler Reddick comments
“I was like, ‘Uh oh,’ ” Tyler Reddick stated as he looked in his mirror to find Chastain on him bumper.
“That was a scenario that had been talked about. You get bottled up and take the access road. I couldn’t believe he got ahead of me.”
“I was kinda waiting to see if he was going to have a penalty. Because, I didn’t want to move him out of the way and make race worse than what it was.”
“I was really surprised by that. But, hey we made it work.”
Reddick added, “Hats off to Ross for trying to do that. But, really glad it didn’t end up working out. Because I would have been pretty pissed off.”
Since Chastain and Dillon didn’t preform a stop and go in turn 12 after missing the corner a post-race penalty was applied.
Per the driver’s meeting video:
“If in the closing laps of the race there is not enough time to assess any penalties that are not served prior to the end of the race then a post-race penalty time of 30 seconds will be assessed to the vehicles total time prior to posting of the race results.”