Ross Chastain was little more than an afterthought entering the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.
The then 29-year-old veteran had never won a race and was set to begin his first season in the newly founded TrackHouse Racing, which was in just its second year of existence.
Little did fans know that Chastain would go on to have a season to remember where he’d assert himself as one of the series’ top drivers.
Chastain won two races in 2022, the first two of his career, en route to finishing second in the championship behind Joey Logano. Both he and teammate Daniel Suarez reached the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
Though it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Chastain. He was involved in a number of incidents that got under the skin of his fellow drivers.
Many wondered if Chastain’s aggressive ways would come back to bite him. As it turned out, it was just the opposite. In the penultimate race of the season, Chastain pulled off a move that will live on forever in NASCAR history.
With half a lap to go in the season’s second-to-last race, he needed to make several passes to compete for a championship the following week in Phoenix.
Then this happened.
Chastain put his car up against the wall entering the final turn. But rather than turning, he held the gas pedal wide open and rode along the wall. He passed several cars in the process and just barely advanced to the Final Four.
It was an all-time great move that had his fellow drivers in awe.
But now we’ll never see it again.
Ross Chastain-type moves like at Martinsville are no longer permitted. Any drive who does so will be assessed a time penalty.
— Jordan Bianchi (@Jordan_Bianchi) January 31, 2023
NASCAR announced a series of new rule changes on Tuesday. Among them was a rule that would penalize drivers with a time penalty for trying to replicate Chastain’s last-gasp move.
Fans didn’t love the new rule.
— Mike's Motorsport Corner (@MotorMike95) January 31, 2023
This is bullshit https://t.co/uJ2WnTb0OL
— Louis Siegel (@LouisSiegel57) January 31, 2023
But they did understand.
Bummer, but I understand…. https://t.co/CC5OXXGtoK pic.twitter.com/P3s4x5M2Sh
— Dr. Mark D. Howell (@DrMarkDHowell) January 31, 2023
Not surprised at all by this https://t.co/PUHvg7gCPA
— Carter SB55 (@K1NGCART3R) January 31, 2023
Chastain’s move was undoubtedly extremely cool. But it was also extremely dangerous and antithetical to the idea of racing. So cherish the video of the unreal move, because it’s unlikely we ever see it again.