NASCAR Bans Ross Chastain’s ‘Hail Melon’ Move, Removes Cautions From Road Course Stages In Major Rule Changes For Upcoming Season

NASCAR Bans Ross Chastain’s ‘Hail Melon’ Move, Removes Cautions From Road Course Stages In Major Rule Changes For Upcoming Season

NASCAR announced new rules for the upcoming 2023 season that include a ban on moves like Ross Chastain’s “Hail Melon” at Martinsville and the removal of warning flags at the end of stages for road courses.

Ross Chastain via NASCAR YouTube

NASCAR announced the rule changes in a post on its official website explaining that they don’t actually include new language or create a new rule to ban Chastain’s “Hail Melon,” but will use NASCAR Rule 10.5. 2.6.A to prohibit movement.

The league explained, “NASCAR will not be adding new language to the rulebook, but will instead point to Rule, which states, “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. »

Ross Chastain via NASCAR YouTube

NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Elton Sawyer also added, “Basically, if there is an act that we believe compromises the safety of our competitors, officials, spectators, we will take it seriously. . And we will penalize for this act in the future.

Sawyer added: “Basically it would be a lap or time penalty at the end of the race, so that trip to Martinsville would be a penalty.”

RELATED: Joey Logano Reacts to Ross Chastain’s Wall-Ride Move, Asks NASCAR to Ban Him

Following Chastain’s move to Martinsville, many drivers wanted to ban the move. Eventual NASCAR champion Joey Logano was one such driver, who also welcomed the move.

He said: “As spectacular as it has been and as much as it has worked, the problem now is that the box is open. Right now, every Xfinity race, every truck race, every Cup race, no matter what track, this wall is going to be a game. It’s not good. It’s not good.”

“It was awesome, it was cool like it happened for the first time, there’s no rule against it,” he continued. “There has to be a rule against this one because it’s – I don’t know if you want the whole field straddling the wall to come to the checkered flag. I don’t know if that’s the safest thing for a driver or the fans when you have a car against the wall carrying mail like that, right? »

“What if that capture fence, the gate wasn’t completely closed or she twisted and grabbed her car.” It’s a big, big risk that Ross is willing to take. And God bless him and that’s great, but I don’t think we need to do it every week,” Logano said.

Joey Logano on NASCAR YouTube

RELATED: Kyle Larson Calls Ross Chastain’s Last Lap Move to Martinsville ‘Embarrassing’ and ‘Not a Good Look for Our Sport’ Despite Attempted Similar Move at Darlington

Former NASCAR champion Kyle Larson described the decision as “embarrassing” and “not good for our sport”.

Larson told NBC Sports’ Dustin Long, “My God, that’s just a bad look. I’m embarrassed that I did it at Darlington and probably, you know, if I hadn’t done it last year, people wouldn’t even have thought of doing it. So I myself am embarrassed and happy that I didn’t win that way.

“And that’s just not a good look,” he repeated. “It’s not pretty. Between yesterday and how embarrassing it was in the Xfinity race and there at the finish. It’s embarrassing.”

When asked why it was embarrassing, Larson detailed, “I guess I would ask you guys, what makes it not embarrassing? Also, I don’t know what your guys’ opinion is – is not or is. But if you think it’s right, why do you think it’s right? »

#NASCAR … Kyle Larson isn’t a fan of Ross Chastain’s last lap movement down the wall. Larson said it was “not pretty”. He explains himself …

— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) October 30, 2022

The other major rule change is the removal of warning flags at the end of stages during road races. NASCAR explained in its article, “The removal of stage warnings on road courses follows a review of Fan Council data and industry discussions. Stage points will still be awarded at the end of stage lap, but the green checkered flag will not be displayed and there will be no warning period to halt the action.

Sawyer noted that the change comes in an attempt to add an element of strategy to road courses, “”When we introduced stage races four or five years ago, we took an element of strategy out of the event. [at road courses]. So we felt it was going to bring some new storylines.

Interestingly, this change only applies to the Cup Series, as notes, “Autonomous road racing in NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races (Portland, Mid-Ohio, Road America) will continue to see periods of caution separate stages.”

Ross Chastain, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin via NASCAR YouTube

RELATED: Kevin Harvick Announces Retirement From NASCAR After 2023 Season

Other changes for the upcoming 2023 season by include:

The “choice rule” for determining restart order has been extended for the 2023 season, with superspeedway and track events adopting the procedure. The restart zone for the first five events of the season will be extended by 50%. Officials said they would assess after the Atlanta event whether the larger restart area would be used in subsequent races. NASCAR officials have adjusted the Damaged Vehicle Policy (DVP), establishing a seven-minute repair clock for work performed on pit road. As was the case last year, no specialist repair tools are allowed. Toe links can be replaced on pit road during the allotted time. Competition officials have also updated its event procedural rules regarding vehicle interference with crews during pit stops. Vehicles that encroach on other stands when entering service may result in a penalty. The pits will be highlighted with new orange pit road markings to help officials make those calls. Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott race to the end of Stage 1 of the Yellawood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway via NASCAR YouTube

What do you think of NASCAR banning the Hail Melon move and removing warnings at the end of stages during road races?

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