NASCAR driver Ross Chastain has credited a childhood video game habit for his bold last-corner move at Martinsville Speedway today, which saw him catapult from 10th to fifth in the final seconds of the race by riding the wall at high speed.
The move secured Chastain a spot in next weekend’s 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4, the first appearance in the series finale for his team Trackhouse Racing. Chastain also broke the stock car track record at Martinsville Speedway.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 30, 2022
“I played a lot of NASCAR 2005 on the GameCube with [younger brother] Chad growing up, and you could get away with it,” explained Chastain in a post-race interview. “And I never knew if it would actually work; I mean, I did that when I was eight years old.”
“I just made the choice; I grabbed fifth gear down the back and full committed.”
Riding walls at high speed has long been a common cheat in the low-stakes world of racing games to slingshot around corners and blaze past opponents, but Chastain has proven it can also work in the real world. That is, it can work once, at least.
EA Sports’ well-received NASCAR 2005: Chase for the Cup hit Nintendo GameCube way back in September 2004. It was the final NASCAR game released for the console.
Luke is Games Editor at IGN's Sydney office. You can chat to him on Twitter @MrLukeReilly.