Remember that awesome-as-hell Nintendo GameCube straight out of the basement that moved a whipped NASCAR racer at the end of a wild ride in Virginia in late October? Yeah, well, the fun school teachers who control the stock car rules said, “No more that.”
Recap: Ross Chastain, driving Trackhouse Racing’s No. 1 Chevy Camaro, was in 10th place at Martinsville, NASCAR’s shortest track, and needed a top four or he was out of the playoffs.
Chastain deployed a move he (and many others of his generation) only used in video games 20 years ago – the wall ride, where he rolled around the corner at top speed and used the wall to brake and corner his vehicle. It worked: Chastain went from 10th to 4th place on the final corner of a half mile track to stay alive in NASCAR’s playoff format and finished second overall the following weekend in Phoenix. It truly is the stuff of legend.
And the legend is where it will stay, apparently. Through Zack Albert, NASCAR reporterChastain’s “wall-ride” maneuver is now considered a violation of rule 10.5.2.6.A, which encompasses “any violation considered to compromise the safety of an event” or pose a risk to anyone participating in or attending it .
“Fundamentally, if there is an act that we believe compromises the safety of our competitors, officials, spectators, we will take it seriously,” said NASCAR Chief Competition Officer Elton Swayer. “And we will penalize this act in the future.”
So the administration of NASCAR dictated the law: there will be no more wall-riding. Any attempt to do so will result in a lap or time penalty which will thwart any intention of the driver to enter the concrete.
Chastain in October admitted it was a high-risk bet. “But I was ready to do it,” he told NBC. He told a trackside reporter that the decision was inspired by NASCAR 2005 on GameCube, which he and his brother Chad played obsessively.
Given that the sport literally traces its heritage to smugglers selling whiskey in the 1950s, Chastain’s filibuster spirit is to be applauded. But yes, if the riders do a wall ride at the end of every race, the novelty would wear off – and someone would be likely to get hurt.