NASCAR’s Kyle Larson Rips Ross Chastain’s ‘Embarrassing’ Video-Game Move at Martinsville

by Dustin Schutte
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Ross Chastain has some courage. On the final lap at Martinsville on Sunday, the driver of the No. 1 car punched the gas and rode the wall to the checkered flag, passing Denny Hamlin and securing his spot in the championship race at Phoenix. Most NASCAR fans celebrated the move, but some drivers took issue with the maneuver.

One of the drivers taking issue with Chastain’s video-game-like maneuver was Cup Series champion Kyle Larson. After the race, the 30-year-old ripped Chastain’s move.

“It’s just a bad look,” Larson said after the race. “I’m embarrassed that I did it at Darlington. Maybe if I didn’t do it last year, people wouldn’t even think to do that, so I’m embarrassed myself and glad that I didn’t win that way (at Darlington). It’s not just a good look. Not a good look. … It’s embarrassing.

“I guess I’d ask you guys, what makes that not embarrassing? If you think that’s fair, why would you think that’s fair?”

Because of Chastain’s unbelievable move Sunday, he joins Christopher Bell, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott in the Championship 4 next Sunday at Phoenix. He nudged out Hamlin for that final spot.

Is Larson’s complaint valid? Or does the driver just have sour grapes that Chastain stole the spotlight and provided one of the most thrilling moments of the NASCAR season?

Other Drivers Weigh In on Ross Chastain’s Move

Kyle Larson wasn’t alone in his thoughts of Ross Chastain riding the wall to the checkered flag at Martinsville. Ryan Blaney also didn’t see much of a thrill in the move.

“I don’t think it makes us look very good,” Blaney said post-race. “What keeps anybody from doing that from now on? If you can make up two seconds, I guess everyone’s just gonna start doing that. I don’t think it’s a very good look for the sport.”

Not all the comments from NASCAR drivers were negative. Chase Briscoe was thoroughly impressed with Chastain’s ingenuity on the final lap.

“As soon as we crossed the start-finish line I came over the radio and said, ‘I think that’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen,” Briscoe said. “I looked at his lap time, he was two seconds faster than the field.

“Sounds to me like the fans loved it. I’m curious to see the worldwide scope of it, but it was cool-looking.”

Chastain will try to claim a Cup Series next weekend at Phoenix. The final race of the 2022 NASCAR season is scheduled for a 2 p.m. CT start time on NBC.