'I was a casual NASCAR fan and played the [video] games... and just never thought about it attacking the corner like this.'
Athletes are determined and disciplined individuals who give their all when it comes to the race. A NASCAR driver recently demonstrated an innovative way to win. Ross Chastain used a gimmick from a video game to go from 10th to fifth position, qualifying him for the NASCAR championship. During his final lap, Chastain launched his car against the track's wall, as seen in a viral video, reports My Modern Met. The move resembles one from an actual video game and it helped him climb the ranks.
When asked about his inspiration behind this iconic move, the professional motorcar racer said that he tried the move as an 8-year-old while playing NASCAR 2005 on GameCube with his younger brother but didn't think that it was possible in reality. He said, "I grabbed fifth gear, asked off of two on the last lap if we needed it, and we did." He added, "I couldn't tell who was leading. I made the choice, grabbed the fifth gear down the back. Full committed. Basically let go of the wheel, hoping I didn't catch the turn-four access gate or something crazy. But I was willing to do it."
The moment has gone viral on social media and Chastain says that it has become "bigger than NASCAR in a way." He told Road and Track, "I don't know that I'll ever totally grasp how far it went and the reach it's had, but what's so great about the sport is we're putting these race cars on the limit and every now and then you get something truly spectacular." He added, "I was a casual NASCAR fan and played the [video] games... and just never thought about it attacking the corner like this. And yeah, that's why it worked."
The physics behind his iconic move is interesting as racing is all about centripetal force. During a race, normally, the force is created by friction between the tires and the track. Drivers must generally slow down while entering turns because else they will not have enough force to complete the turn. Instead, Chastain chose to generate force by using the friction between the wall and his automobile. Instead of needing to slow down, he was able to maintain his speed.
ROSS CHASTAIN FINISH IS WILD pic.twitter.com/cvNGwQMs8u— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) October 30, 2022
While the decision propelled him ahead of the other drivers who had reduced their acceleration, it did significant damage to Chastain's vehicle. This is why a maneuver like this is best employed on the last lap of a race. Despite the absolute success of this move, Chastain thinks he won't try it again. He said, "I'm not sure I'm how I'll view it in the future, but I think it will outlive me for sure."
The Wall Ride, while stunning, is merely the icing on the cake for Chastain's already incredible season. Over the course of 2022, he grasped his first opportunity in a really competitive vehicle, quickly progressing from a middle-of-the-road racer to a title contender. He said, "It's been wild. I just thought I'd found my niche in the mid-pack Xfinity, back-of-the-pack Cup, and maybe some good trucks one day. Yeah. I thought that was my career."
"And it's been a learning process to learn to accept what we're doing and learn to embrace the opportunities we have in front of us. I still get nervous on race day, and I hope I never lose that."