Ross Chastain is having a season to remember and will do everything he can to be on top. That was proven last week when he made a move that is seen in video games to clinch a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Championship race at the Phoenix Raceway on Sunday. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Chastain explained why he doesn't see himself making a wallride move again on Sunday or any race in the foreseeable future.
"We weren't doing burnouts in the front stretch, partly because my car wouldn't even do burnouts, if I tried, it was destroyed," Chastain exclusively told PopCulture. "But I was in the car and I don't really have any interest in doing that again. It was a rough ride. There was a lot happening inside the car. It was violent and that was at our slowest and shortest track. I really couldn't imagine doing it on purpose anywhere else. So no, no plans, no plans for Phoenix and I didn't practice it before then. When I say I did it on a video game, I'm talking when I was 12 years old, way back, before I ever even raced at the local level, my very first real race in a race car. So no, it goes against everything that you know as a driver and glad it worked out but I still don't really know why."
In the final lap of the race at Martinsville, Chastain pinned his car to the outside wall to propel himself from 10th place to fourth. It led to him clinching a spot in the playoffs and eliminating three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin in the process. On Sunday, Chastain will go up against Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Christopher Bell for the title. And Chastain knows what he needs to do to win.
"What's so cool about it, man, is just go beat them," he said. "That's what's so wild, is all of our competitors will be out there, that's what makes our sport different and I think better is that at least 36 teams race every week, all year. And I still have to pass and I'll have my teammate, Daniel [Suárez], so to work with, I'll still have to pass other guys that aren't in the final four. And I've been that guy that's not in the playoffs, last year and every other year that I've ran cup. When I get off or I get worked up or nervous or I get flustered, I'm just like, you know what? I can just dig into our prep work, I can just be as prepared as I can be and I'll know I'm doing my job."