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#pounditMonday, March 27, 2023

Ross Chastain penalized for taking short cut on final lap

Ross Chastain went off-course during the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard on Sunday in Indianapolis and was penalized as a result.

There was a big pileup of cars on the final lap of the NASCAR Cup Series race as the pack approached Turn 1. Rather than get bunched up with all the traffic, Chastain decided to take a shortcut.

Thanks to the slick maneuver, Chastain ended up competing with eventual race winner Tyler Reddick for first. Reddick took the checkered flag, and Chastain was next to cross the finish line.

But Chastain’s second-place finish did not last long.

NASCAR penalized Chastain for taking the access road, leaving him with a 27th-place finish when all was said and done.

The driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet said after the race that he was not planning to take the shortcut; it just happened as a reaction because he wanted to avoid the cluster of cars.

“Just trying not to be in the carnage there in Turn 1. I thought we were four-wide. Couldn’t go any farther right. Decided to take the NASCAR access lane out there. … Just pure reaction,” Chastain said in his post-race interview on NBC.

Chastain was a trend-setter too. Austin Dillon followed Chastain and took the access road. He was likewise penalized 30 seconds, and finished 30th.

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