UPDATE: Chastain met with the media after the race and attributed the move to playing a whole lot of NASCAR 2005 on his GameCube when he was eight years old
UPDATE: Here’s some video of Chastain’s wild finish from inside his car. It’s bananas!
The NASCAR Cup Series is headed to Phoenix Raceway next week for the Championship Race, but not before we saw one of the wildest endings to a race that didn’t involve a photo-finish for first place.
Ross Chastain came into the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway on pace to clinch a playoff berth. However, after a ninth place finish in qualifying, he struggled on Sunday to gain any ground. He finished the second and third stages in ninth place, and had slipped to tenth place heading into the final lap.
Chastain looked like he would lose the fourth and final playoff spot to Denny Hamlin and so the Trackhouse Racing driver took matters into his own hands. While the broadcast was focused on Christopher Bell winning and clinching his own berth, Chastain hugged the wall heading into turn four and blew past five drivers to earn the final Championship race berth.
The announcers were not lying when they called it a video-game move, but it was enough to secure the critical positioning and send Hamlin home without a shot at the title.