The Chicago Journal

NASCAR takes action, bans ‘hail melon’ in other races

Image Commercially Licensed from: DepositPhotos
Image Commercially Licensed from: DepositPhotos

NASCAR: While there are various methods to win in sports competition, some of them are risky or even immoral.

Typically, regulations are developed as a sport evolves.

After witnessing a professional driver try a stunt recently, NASCAR decided to add a new regulation to the rules.

The news

Professional racer Ross Chastain performed a reckless move in Martinsville last year, prompting authorities to take the necessary sanctions.

His use of the wall to qualify for the championship race has been outlawed, according to NASCAR, which announced this on Tuesday.

Chastain put his foot firmly on the gas pedal and drove to the wall to allow enough vehicles to pass on the last lap of the race.

He was granted admittance for the season finale, and as a result, he joined the other three drivers in the championship race.

The most recent NASCAR rule reads:

“Any violation deemed to compromise the safety of an event or otherwise pose a dangerous risk to the safety of competitors, officials, spectators, or others are treated with the highest degree of seriousness.”

“Safety violations will be handed on a case-by-case basis.”

What happened

During the 2022 preliminary round, Chastain made a smart move.

He was aware that Denny Hamlin held the last playoff slot and had more points than he did.

Conventional passes were challenging due to the gap with the other cars.

Chastain shifted up as a result, kept the gas pedal depressed, and drove his vehicle into a wall.

His lap was nearly two seconds quicker than the winner, Christopher Bell, as a result of the good move.

Ross Chastain moved up from tenth to fifth as a result, passing Hemlin on the final lap to gain valuable ranking.

Chastain recalled performing the same maneuver on a NASCAR video game when he was younger after the race.

He carefully tested it to see if it would succeed.

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The other racers enjoyed using the game’s “Hail Melon” maneuver.

Opponent Joey Logano remarked that everyone indulged in it when they were younger.

“We all did it in the video game. That’s how you made speed in the video game, that’s what you did,” he said.

“Something we all thought about at one point – at least, I thought about it a lot – but never really had the need to do it. Also kind of thought how many races I could have won here by doing that.”

“As spectacular as it was, as much as it worked, the problem is now the box is open right? That’s not good,” Logano continued.

“It was awesome, it was cool. It happened for the first time. There’s no rule against it. There needs to be a rule against this one because I don’t know if you want the whole field riding the wall coming to the checkered flag.”

Kyle Larson, meanwhile, described the situation as embarrassing and added, “It’s just a bad look.”

“I’m embarrassed that I did it at Darlington. Maybe if I didn’t do it last year, people wouldn’t think to do that, so I’m embarrassed myself and glad that I didn’t win that way.”


Because Ross Chastain’s strategy was so effective, NASCAR changed the rule as a result.

When Chastain mounted the wall in Martinsville, he established the record for the quickest Cup Series lap.

It caused NASCAR to consider how they might stop other drivers from using the tactic frequently.

The organization came to the conclusion that it ought to be banned given how successfully it was executed.

If other drivers make the same move, they will be given a time penalty.

It wasn’t a brand-new regulation, according to Elton Sawyer, vice president of competition for NASCAR.

“I think we all remember the last-lap move at Martinsville in the fall,” he said.

“Brought a great deal of excitement, a great deal of exposure to our sport. But it also came with some scrutiny.”