Ross Chastain considered a wall ride at Phoenix Raceway to win championship

Ross Chastain comments after finishing 2nd in the playoff standings

In the final playoff elimination race at Martinsville Speedway, Ross Chastain entered the final lap in 10th position. He needed to pass 2 cars in order to advance into the championship race.

Chastain picked up the controller and grabbed 5th gear for the first time all day. He then skipped the brake pedal into turn three. He went full throttle into one of NASCAR’s tightest turns, using the wall to turn the car.

When he exited turn four, Chastain was up to 5th. He set the track record and more importantly, advanced into the championship round.

Drivers were quick to request that NASCAR make a new rule to prevent the move in the future. The series elected to leave the rules the same for the final race of the season. They also noted that a rule might be added for 2023. But, that left the door open for drivers to try the move, one last time.

On Sunday, Phoenix Raceway hosted the championship race. Joey Logano led and looked to be the clear winner and championship.

Ross Chastain was the next closest championship contender. He ran 3rd and had the option to pull the same move again.

He thought about it…

Ross Chastain comments on why he didn’t Hail Melon at Phoenix Raceway

NASCAR driver Ross Chastain signs autographs
AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 03: Ross Chastain, driver of the #1 Moose Fraternity Chevrolet, greets a young fan during the NASCAR Championship 4 Media Day at Phoenix Raceway on November 03, 2022 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

“I did not,” Ross Chastain said from the media center of if he thought the move would work.

“With five to go, I looked at it going into Turn 3, and I knew Daniel tried it and other guys, and I just didn’t think that it worked. I thought that the Martinsville scenario was the perfect scenario for it, and my gut told me to do it at Martinsville and my gut told me not to do it here.”

Teammate Daniel Suarez attempted the move on the simulator ahead of Phoenix.

“Ultimately that’s all I can do. Yeah, I don’t think it’s — everybody thought everybody would be doing it here, and they think they’re going to do it there. Look, it’s scary as heck to commit to that and to put your car and your body through that.”

“That was the longest wreck of my life. It was a successful wreck for a long time through the corner.”

On NASCAR not making a rule

“I’m glad that NASCAR dug their heels in a bit this weekend and said, look, we’re not going to overreact to this, we’re just going to let it play out, and we’ll continue to talk about it in the off-season, even though there was a lot of push for a rule today.”

“And super proud of the group at NASCAR and everybody in charge for taking charge and making their own decision and not letting the pressure of the driver group steer them too far.”

“They took a big leap of faith with this car, the France family and NASCAR did. Obviously I’m really thankful for that because it put Trackhouse into existence, and it gave us kind of the reason that we’ve been able to be successful.”

“And I think that, as we keep going and the sport evolves, it’s important for them to — they run the show, and sometimes they need to — you tell us what to do, you tell us what the rule book is, and then let us go race. That’s what makes NASCAR so great, I think.”


Ross Chastain | Phoenix Raceway | NASCAR