Putting it into Perspective: Ross Chastain Plays Perfectly into NASCAR Playoff Thrills and Chills

MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – OCTOBER 30: Ross Chastain, driver of the #1 Moose Fraternity Chevrolet, waves to fans as he walks onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 30, 2022, in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Putting it into perspective: Ross Chastain plays perfectly into NASCAR Playoff Thrills and Chills by giving race fans the Hail Mary pass.

NASCAR is certainly making news this weekend after Ross Chastain takes Trackhouse Racing into the Championship 4 with his Hail Mary move at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Trackhouse is a first-year team and their driver Ross Chastain wowed the crowd as they were on their feet in disbelief at what they were watching. Chastain’s move put Trackhouse Racing into the Championship 4 at Phoenix. It was epic as never before seen at Martinsville or any other track. It was exactly the thrills and chills NASCAR is looking for in their playoff format.

Ross Chastain Plays Perfectly into NASCAR Playoff Thrills and Chills

Chastain unbelievably hugged the wall in the third and fourth turns of the last lap. While taking his hands off the wheel, he put his car in fifth gear and mashed the gas pedal to the floor to move from tenth to fifth place. The calculated move was exactly what he needed to push his car past Denny Hamlin – the guy he needed to best and move on in the playoffs. He didn’t wreck any of his competitors to accomplish his goal. The fans in the stands and watching at home loved what they saw and the cheers were joyful. The big plus for NASCAR is that news outlets are playing the video to a legion of new fans.

Watch Chastain’s video game move to put him into the NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 at Phoenix next weekend.

Denny Hamlin Accepts Defeat

Veteran driver Denny Hamlin after losing his chance at competing for the championship gave a classy interview and called Chastain’s move, “brilliant!” Watch post-race interviews from Ross Chastain and Denny Hamlin at Martinsville.

NASCAR Drivers are Calling on NASCAR

Several drivers have indicated their awe with Chastain’s move, but have called for NASCAR to put a rule in place to avoid this move from ever happening again. Check out Joey Logano’s thoughts when asked about Chastains’ move.

Although Logano is not the only driver calling on NASCAR to put rules into place, let’s be clear.

NASCAR Playoff Format Finally Gets their Hail Mary Pass

NASCAR should never consider putting rules into place to prevent other drivers from putting everything on the line to make it into the next round. The playoff format was put into place to encourage drivers to put everything on the line and to do everything in their power to put themselves in a position to compete for the championship title. The playoffs were put into place precisely for the similar Hail Mary pass in football to win the game.

Chastain didn’t win the race, but he did exactly what NASCAR is looking for in their playoff format. Plus he did it without physically hurting any of his competitors and giving fans the thrills and chills finish that is legendary to the sport. He didn’t cross any lines of disrespect for his competitors.

As indicated earlier, the video of what Chastain did, is bringing new fans to the sport and many of them will watch the season finale at Phoenix next week and come back for more next season. This one move has given the sport priceless exposure.

Football certainly would never discourage the Hail Mary pass to win. Why in the world would NASCAR want to discourage that?

The Value of Talent and Respect

One more point to make is that what Chastain did was epic. It was a one-of-a-kind, never before seen in the sport. Any driver considering a similar Chastain move needs to understand the pitfall of crossing a critical line. That line is showing any disrespect to fellow drivers or intentionally or unintentionally wrecking any other competitor to get what they want.

Let’s be perfectly clear. Drivers should always showcase their talent to accomplish their goals. Physically hurting competitors is never an acceptable means of getting what you want.

Chastain showcased not only an amazing talent to successfully do what he did, but he also displayed an amazing will to put everything on the line to accomplish his goal. His Hail Mary move to make it into the Championship 4 did not physically hurt anyone. It was a calculated move playing perfectly into NASCAR’s intention of making the playoffs more exciting for fans. And the fan’s cheers enthusiastically confirm NASCAR’s goal to bring thrills and chills to the playoffs.