Chastain on NASCAR's rimshot rule: 'I don't ever want to do it again'

Matt Thacker/Motorsport Images

Chastain on NASCAR's rimshot rule: 'I don't ever want to do it again'


Chastain on NASCAR's rimshot rule: 'I don't ever want to do it again'


Ross Chastain doesn’t deny having a sense of pride that his wall ride last fall at Martinsville Speedway is no longer allowed, but he’s also relieved.

“I am proud,” he said Saturday at the L.A. Coliseum. “I was proud at Indy that I was able to take advantage of it like I did. Looking back, neither one of them were planned. Yes, I’m proud of it. I don’t ever want to do it again, though.”

Chastain referencing Indianapolis was a reminder that, before the Martinsville move, he went straight into Turn 1 on the road course to avoid the potential carnage, taking the access road instead of making the corner. He came out in second place but was penalized by NASCAR officials for intentionally cutting the course.

In its annual pre-season rules briefing earlier this week, NASCAR officials pointed to an already-existing rule when declaring that future moves like Chastain’s at Martinsville would result in a time penalty. Included in the wording, it states, “Violations deemed to compromise the safety of an event or otherwise pose a dangerous risk to the safety of competitors, officials, spectators…” would be subject to penalty.

The No. 1 Trackhouse Racing team needed to earn two spots to advance in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs going into the final lap at Martinsville. Going down the backstretch, Chastain committed to a video game move that saw him drive wide-open into Turn 3, hit the wall, and stay in the throttle as he rode the wall to the finish line.

The move worked as he picked up five spots. Chastain advanced into the Championship 4, his move knocking out Denny Hamlin, and the No. 1 eventually finished second in the championship standings to Joey Logano.

But the reaction afterward was mixed. Some of Chastain’s peers thought it was a great moment and praised the ingenuity. Others felt it went too far and posed a safety issue if drivers thought it was a tool they could try at other tracks.

NASCAR and Chastain were the talk across the sporting landscape the following week as the clip went viral on social media and made numerous highlight reels. To date, the NBC Sports clip on YouTube has over 1 million views, while the clip on the official NASCAR YouTube page has 1.6 million views.

“I’m glad I don’t have to do it again,” said Chastain, who was also interviewed by TMZ Sports this week and asked about the move. “It was the longest wreck of my life. It was really successful, but I have no desire to ever do that again. And selfishly, I’m glad I get to be the only one to go down in history that ever successfully did it where it really mattered and it really paid off.”