Ross Chastain Reacts To NASCAR Banning His Famous ‘Hail Melon’ Maneuver At Martinsville
Ross Chastain, the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro, recently shared his thoughts on NASCAR banning his famous wall-ride maneuver at Martinsville dubbed the 'Hail Melon.'
Ross Chastain, the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro, recently shared his thoughts on NASCAR banning his famous wall-ride maneuver at Martinsville dubbed the ‘Hail Melon.’
On the last lap of the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway last year, Chastain put his car into fifth gear ran up the track, hit the gas, and rode around the wall to cross the line in fifth. He would eventually be moved up a spot after NASCAR disqualified Brad Keselowski for not meeting weight standards.
Chastain picked up five spots passing Chase Briscoe, Bubba Wallace, Joey Logano, William Byron, and Denny Hamlin. He also set a new track record for a stock car at Martinsville with a lap time of 18.845 seconds. The previous record was 18.954 seconds.
Take a look at the wild move:
RELATED: NASCAR Bans Ross Chastain’s ‘Hail Melon’ Move, Removes Cautions From Road Course Stages In Major Rule Changes For Upcoming Season
Here’s another angle:
This doesn’t even look real
Ross fan, @caleb_matthew21 captured it perfectly…we all had the same reaction!
— Trackhouse Racing (@TeamTrackhouse) October 31, 2022
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NASCAR announced as part of a number of rule changes for the upcoming 2023 season that the move was banned. However, they didn’t add any new language or create a new rule rather they will enforce NASCAR rule 10.5.2.6.A to ban the move.
The league explained, “ASCAR will not add new language to the rule book but instead point to rule 10.5.2.6.A, which states: “Safety is a top priority for NASCAR and NEM (NASCAR Event Management). Therefore, any violations deemed to compromise the safety of an Event or otherwise pose a dangerous risk to the safety of Competitors, Officials, spectators, or others are treated with the highest degree of seriousness. Safety violations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.”
RELATED: Joey Logano Reacts To Ross Chastain’s Wall-Ride Move, Calls For NASCAR To Outlaw It
NASCAR’s Senior Vice President of Competition Elton Sawyer also added, “Basically, if there’s an act that we feel that compromises the safety of our competitors, officials, spectators, we’re going to take that seriously. And we will penalize for that act going forward.”
Sawyer added, “Basically, what it would be is a lap or time penalty at the end of the race, so that move at Martinsville would be a penalty.”
Chastain reacted to the ban while speaking with TMZ Sports saying, “I’m good with it.”
He added, “I’m proud that I’ve got a rule named after me. They didn’t actually write a new rule, they’re just going to enforce a current rule that just says be safe, don’t hit the wall and be unsafe. So I take it as a badge of honor.”
RELATED: Kyle Larson Calls Ross Chastain’s Last Lap Move At Martinsville “Embarrassing” And “Not A Good Look For Our Sport” Despite Attempting Similar Move At Darlington
He continued, “I want my crew chief and my engineers and my mechanics pushing the limits of the car. I don’t want to break the rules, but I want them to have to write new rules and explain things more clearly where we might find a gray area on the car. And then on the track I want to do the same thing.”
“That’s actually the second time last year that we’ve had a rule made about us,” he pointed out. “Earlier in the year at Indianapolis I took an access road that was allowed, but you shouldn’t be able to make up time on the leader, and I did, and I almost won the race doing it. And so they said no to that and they’re going to rewrite that access road and the whole shape of it is.”
Chastain then reiterated, “So I’m proud that I was able to exploit that and a split second decision to ride the wall at Martinsville.”
He then concluded, “I don’t want to do it again. I don’t want to see guys doing it. And I’m proud that now I’ll be the first and last guy to successfully to do it.”
What do you make of Chastain’s comments about NASCAR banning the move? What do you make of the move being banned by NASCAR?
NEXT: Chase Briscoe Attempts To Recreate Ross Chastain’s Wild Wall-Ride Move, Fails Spectacularly
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