The Cup Series elimination race at Martinsville Speedway was back on October 30, but Ross Chastain still hears questions about riding the wall. One of them focuses on whether this move could be part of a movie script. However, he views it as too unrealistic.
Chastain provided insight into the matter during the NASCAR Awards in Nashville. He explained that no one in Hollywood would have made a movie about his season and the “video game move” at Martinsville Speedway. His reasoning is that it just looked poorly animated.
“I don’t think they would have made this movie would have been too unrealistic,” Chastain told the gathered media members. “No, no. I mean, the video at Martinsville looks like a really bad animated CG-whatever, like fake thing that they’ve dubbed in. Like it doesn’t look real when I watch it.
“I feel like whoever made that should have made it look more real. The car looks like it’s glitching by. Yeah, I think it’s beyond a movie. I don’t think that it would even seem real if you were to pitch that in January. I don’t think people would have… I don’t think that Hollywood would have bought it.”
The Move Still Achieved an Important Goal
While Chastain believes that the move was too unrealistic, it was real enough to help him achieve a goal. He was able to go from 10th to fifth on the final lap and secure a spot in the championship four. He later moved up to fourth after officials disqualified Brad Keselowski’s No. 6 for failing post-race inspection.
Chastain went on to finish third in the championship race at Phoenix Raceway and second in the Cup Series standings behind Joey Logano. This performance capped off a season in which he secured his first two career wins and set career-best marks in several different categories.
How did Chastain accomplish this feat? There were multiple factors that played a role. He revealed one of the biggest during the Awards Banquet at the Music City Center in Nashville.
“The new car,” Chastain told Marty Snider during the ceremony. “NASCAR and the France family unveiled and rolled out a car that was, in my opinion, the largest reset this sport has ever seen. And my belief — from the very first race at the beach — there was a better-designed car and a better-built car. You could weld it together different.
“And as recently as last year with my time in the 42 car, you could design and build a better car. And now, we buy the cars, and it’s reset it. That’s the reason Trackhouse exists. It’s the reason that Justin Marks and Pitbull and Ty Norris set out on this voyage.”
Chastain Expects Some Improvements in 2023
As the Florida native explained during the NASCAR Awards, the 2022 season was his first “at-bat” with Trackhouse Racing. This means that the 2023 season will give him even more opportunities to pursue wins and a spot in the playoffs.
How competitive will Trackhouse Racing be compared to other teams? That answer remains unclear. The Next Gen car will undergo some changes before the season in the pursuit of safety and better competition.
There is also a limit on the amount of work that teams can do on these new cars. Going outside of these guidelines results in harsh, L2-Level penalties, such as the ones that were issued to RFK Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, and Front Row Motorsports in 2022.
That being said, Chastain still expects to make some improvements before the 2023 season. He has faith in the people at Trackhouse Racing, and he knows that the team can’t afford to simply celebrate past accomplishments.
“We have smart people, so do I think my car’s gonna handle better at the start of 2023 than it did at the end of 22? I hope so,” Chastain said during his media availability. “It’d better. We’ve got to go faster, or they’ll pass us. That’s what’s so great about the sport is that it’s cyclical and it never ends.”