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#pounditMonday, March 27, 2023

NASCAR outlaws 1 controversial move

Mar 20, 2022; Hampton, Georgia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Ross Chastain during the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR is outlawing the controversial move made by Ross Chastain last year that drew widespread attention.

Chastain was looking to catapult himself into contention for the Championship 4 and running out of options at the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville. He ended up pulling a video game move on the final lap and drove into the wall, hugging it so that it propelled him ahead of Denny Hamlin (video here).

The maneuver worked, and best of all for Chastain, race officials declined to penalize him.

Next time he or someone else tries something similar, they won’t be so lucky.

NASCAR’s Vice President of Competition Elton Sawyer said Tuesday that the organization will penalize a driver who attempts something similar on the grounds that it jeopardizes the safety of competitors and fans. Sawyer made clear that rules existed last year under which Chastain could have been penalized. Officials are in agreement that they will exercise those rules in the future.

“This is not new language,” he said. “Basically if there’s an act that we feel that’s compromising the safety of our competitors, officials, spectators, we’re going to take that seriously. We will penalize for that act going forward. Basically it would be a lap or time penalty at the end of the race. That move at Martinsville would be a penalty in 2023.”

Chastain may have to figure out new moves for the future, which probably won’t be too hard for him.

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