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Ross Chastain makes racing video game move a reality

Ross Chastain
Stacy Revere/Getty

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway marked the end of the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Playoffs. Christopher Bell of Huntersville-based Joe Gibbs Racing won the race and earned his way to his first championship berth.

While the third win of his season may have been exciting for Bell, what got fans excited after the race wasn’t the winner. Fourth-place finisher Ross Chastain stole the show to make his first championship berth, also a first for Concord-based Trackhouse Racing.

If you’ve ever played a racing video game and ridden along the wall in a last-ditch effort to gain one more position, you'll recognize Chastain's move.

After passing five cars by driving against the wall, he had just enough points to advance to the championship over Joe Gibbs Racing Driver Denny Hamlin. While it was a nightmare for Hamlin, it unlocked a childhood memory for Chastain.

“My brother Chad beat me doing it at the fictitious, I think, it was Dodge Raceway somewhere in a fake city in Florida,” said Chastain.

"We would always race there and I never thought about it. Like, our prep this week, it never crosses my mind. I’ve done a lot of sim work this week, a lot of iRacing. A lot of stuff and a lot of laps here virtually and never once did it cross my mind or did I try it, so I want to make that clear.”

The video of the last lap heroics even garnered the attention of Formula 1 world champion driver Fernando Alonso.

He now will join Bell, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano in the Championship 4 Sunday at Phoenix Raceway.

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Kenny is a Maryland native who began his career in media as a sportswriter at Tuskegee University, covering SIAC sports working for the athletic department and as a sports correspondent for the Tuskegee Campus Digest. Following his time at Tuskegee, he was accepted to the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program as a Marketing Intern for The NASCAR Foundation in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2017.