Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Preece express their support to the rule
Trackhouse Racing driver Ross Chastain’s antics that earned him a 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 spot have been banned by the governing body, as the fraternity recently discovered. While that decision sealed the fate of “Melon Man” in the 2022 playoffs, it has been the subject of discussion in the sport for some time now.
Chastain managed to race his #1 MOOSE Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to a P5 finish during last year’s Xfinity 500. The 500-mile race saw the native of Alva, Florida take the outside wall of the track and round his rivals in a final bid to qualify for the playoffs, which he did.
The move, spectacular as it was at the time, was later talked about by NASCAR drivers as well as fans and drew mixed reactions. Rule updates by the governing body ahead of the 2023 season have banned the same in light of the potential risk it poses to the safety of trackside officials and fans, not to mention the driver himself. . After the verdict, several active drivers spoke of the same thing, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. being one of them:
“I think it’s the right call for sure. I feel like they could have made that call right after it happened because it’s never been done before and didn’t really been a problem. Going forward everyone knows the rules. My guys are probably I’m glad I can’t try it because it destroys a race car. I think overall it’s definitely the right choice.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Preece had press briefings today, and both said they approved of NASCAR’s ban on the Chastain “Hail Melon” move.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Preece had press briefings today, and both said they approved of NASCAR’s ban on the Chastain “Hail Melon” move. https://t.co/5dPQPfmfir
Stewart-Haas Racing driver Ryan Preece also supported NASCAR in making the difficult decision to ban an incident that has garnered so much global attention and said:
“I don’t want to be put in a position where I have to make this split-second decision to get on the wall because the other day it was a perfect storm. I remember where I was when I seeing that happen was amazing. But it can definitely go the other way, so I understand why they did what they did. Sometimes you have to stop us from hurting ourselves. NASCAR put updated several rules alongside the banning of the “Hail Melon” for safety reasons
In addition to banning “Hail Melon,” several NASCAR rule changes have been made ahead of the 2023 Cup Series season to make racing closer and more exciting than ever. One of the most talked about changes was the removal of stage breaks for road events, as well as the coming into effect of the choice rule on Superspeedways as well as Dirt events. Loose tire penalties have also been revised with some relief for crew members this year.
Watch the 2023 NASCAR season kick off from the LA Memorial Coliseum for the Busch Light Clash this weekend.
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