Ross Chastain Will Not Ride the Wall Again

Ross Chastain will not ride the wall again Meg Oliphant
Ross Chastain's wild last-gasp pass to secure his place in NASCAR's Championship Four has evolved from a racing spectacle into a veritable cultural phenomenon. You can see the move almost everywhere right now, from SportsCenter recaps to video game blogs to group chats with grandma.
It was a one-time maneuver by Chastain, a star moment. The Wall Ride now has its own section on Wikipedia (fans of Chastain, from a family that grows watermelons in Florida, call it "The Hail Melon"); it has taken on an inertia of its own, and even with a championship to be won, Chastain clutches the reins of a moment that has become something else entirely.
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"I mean, it's bigger than me. It's bigger than NASCAR in a way," Chastain said. “I don't know if I'll ever fully grasp how far it's come and the range it's had, but what's so great about this sport is that we're pushing these race cars to the limit and every now and then you get something really spectacular."
Stacy Revere
The race against the limits of humanity and physics will always produce something spectacular. But that was different. Perhaps something that transcends physics in that it shattered our expectations of how the sport should work. I mean, that wasn't a move born in physics at all. Chastain originally admitted that the idea of ​​playing NASCAR on GameCube came to him as a kid in 2005. Racecars just never do, I argued.
“All I know is that the last time I can remember [the wall ride] was done, back then. Yes, I don't know, I just know. I didn't do it in simulators, didn't do it that way on iRacing on purpose. So that would be it. I was an occasional NASCAR fan and played the [video] games... and never considered attacking the corner like that. And yes, that's why it worked.
Chastain paused to think it all over, and our Zoom call ended. I thought the line might have been cut, but his voice perked up in the silence.
"I'm not sure how I'll see it going forward, but I think it'll outlive me for sure," he said.
Again, as my colleague Fred Smith noted, it pays to look at the context. For Chastain, the Wall Ride, as spectacular as it is, is just the icing on the cake of an already wonderful season. Throughout 2022 he has seized his first opportunity in a truly competitive car and seized it, going from mid-range contender to title challenger in an absolute sprint.
"It was wild. I just thought I found my niche in the mid-size Xfinity, behind the pack cup, and maybe some good trucks someday. Yes. I thought that was my career. And it has been a learning curve to learn to accept what we are doing and to learn to seize the opportunities that are in front of us. I'm still nervous on race day and I hope I never lose that," he said.
Chastain said that nervousness, that emotion, that desire to keep improving, it all comes naturally, they're tools he uses to hone his skills. It's a humility you wouldn't expect from one of racing's elite drivers, especially one who has just achieved the EEEHAWWW Pass of the Century.
The story goes on

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