NASCAR Officially Bans Dangerous Game-Like ‘Wall Riding’ Tricks
GIF: NASCAR / NBC / Kotaku
Last October, NASCAR driver Ross Chastain caught the world’s attention when he deployed a “wall-riding” trick he had previously only pulled off in a video game as a child to pass from 10th to 5th place in a real race. This move was very cool, really dangerous and took him to the next stage of the championship. And now NASCAR is officially telling everyone to never do that again.
If you missed it last year, Chastain’s genius (and maybe a little reckless) move saw him slam his car into the outside wall of the track and then shoot it…because that he no longer had to slow down to make the turn. This allowed him to round the final corner and pass five drivers in the process. The clip exploded online and went viral. After the dust cleared, Chastain explained that as a kid he “played NASCAR 2005 a lot on GameCube” and while he hit the wild wall in the game as a young boy, he wasn’t sure. that would work in real life. But he did, and we all had fun watching him do it. Well, not everyone apparently…
Announced today in a post on the official NASCAR website, the racing league has officially clarified that riding on the outside wall to gain an advantage will no longer be tolerated. NASCAR is not creating a new rule to prevent drivers like Chastain from running over walls, but instead cites existing rule 10.5.2.6.A:
Safety is a top priority for NASCAR and NEM (NASCAR Event Management). Therefore, any violation considered to compromise the security of an event or to present a dangerous risk to the safety of competitors, officials, spectators or other persons is treated with the highest degree of seriousness. Security breaches will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
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As such, authorities will now issue time penalties to “any vehicle that attempts a dangerous maneuver” like this sick ride. While NASCAR seemed to agree the move was “creative” and more than a little exciting, it also said it posed a significant safety risk. What he does – Chastain was lucky his unorthodox maneuver worked, rather than ending in a serious crash.
“Fundamentally, if there is an act that we believe compromises the safety of our competitors, officials, spectators,” said NASCAR senior vice president of competition, Elton Sawyer, “we will take it seriously. And we will penalize for that act in the future. Basically it would be a lap or time penalty at the end of the race, so [the wall ride he did] would be a penalty.
While prior to this announcement some riders may have considered trying the wall ride in a future race, Chastain seemed overwhelmed.
“Why did it work? I don’t know, but I have no idea or plan to do it again because it wasn’t enjoyable,” Chastain said.
Other drivers were also nervous about the move, admitting it was exciting but dangerous too.