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Pedal to the Metal

Ross Chastain pulls off craziest move in NASCAR history to make finals, says he got the idea playing GameCube

October 31, 2022

There was no shortage of unhinged sports happenings on Halloween weekend. Michigan State goons jumped Michigan players after another blowout loss. Lane Kiffin stuck it to Jimbo. The Phillies came back from five runs down to win Game 1, Paulina got festive, and Russ rode. But of all the spooky, spectacular highlights from an elite-tier sports weekend, hands-down the most unforgettable belonged to Ross Chastain, who jumped not one, not two (not three, not four) but FIVE drivers in the final turn at Martinsville on Sunday to qualify for next week’s NASCAR finale. Take it away, you absolute maniac.

This is a move straight out of your lazy kid’s video-game playbook. Just get your fastest car, pick the super speedway, point it at the wall and mash the gas. In fact, that’s how Chastain says he came up with the idea: Playing a lot of ‘NASCAR 2005’ on the GameCube. That he didn’t die trying it in an actual, 750-hp stock car seemed to surprise even him.

The vehicular hail mary, which took Chastain from 10th to 5th in a matter of seconds, booked his place in the top four heading into next week’s winner-take-all NASCAR Cup Series finale at Phoenix. More importantly, however, it cemented him in the annals of racing (and psychopath) history. Even if people don’t remember the name or can’t recognize the face, they’ll see the highlight—and hear the sheet metal grinding on concrete— for decades to come.