A NASCAR driver used a trick he learned playing a 2005 NASCAR video game for the GameCube to pull off an incredible last-lap maneuver to secure a spot in the Championship finals. Driver Ross Chastain, 29, put his car in fifth gear, slammed it into the wall and ended up passing multiple drivers on his way to a fourth-place finish in Sunday’s 500-lap Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
As you can see in the video below, Chastain intentionally drove his car into the wall on the final lap to perform a “wall-ride” he learned playing GameCube. The tactic was so successful that it helped Chastain finish fourth to earn the final playoff spot, overtaking Denny Hamlin.
“I played a lot of NASCAR 2005 on the GameCube,” Chastain said in an interview after the race. “I never knew if it would actually work [in real life]. I did it when I was eight years old. I just made the choice. I grabbed fifth gear… and went full throttle. Once I hit the wall, I basically let go of the wheel…”
NBC Sports reported that Chastain’s “crazy, rarely seen strategy” on the final lap included starting the car “beyond its limits” and driving into the outside wall. He passed five cars along the way. Chastain completed the final lap in 18.845 seconds, which was a new record for the speedway.
The video is incredibly dramatic and wild to watch as the video game tactics are clearly at work. Now, this was a last ditch effort and things could have gone wrong and badly, not to mention this tactic probably wouldn’t have worked beyond a single round. But it worked, and Chastain advances to this weekend’s Series Championship.
Kyle Larson, the 2021 Cup Series Championship winner, criticized Chastain’s strategy, something he himself tried in 2021. He told The Associated Press it was “just a bad look” for Chastain to do that.
Another driver, Joey Logano, said Chastain’s strategy was “spectacular.” But he said it sets a bad example and opens the door for other drivers to try it in future races. He asked NASCAR to implement an anti-wall riding rule.
“I mean, it was awesome, it was cool. It happened for the first time. There’s no rule against it. There has to be a rule against it because I don’t know if you want the whole field leading to the wall to come to the checkered flag,” he said.
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