Ross Chastain Surges Past Denny Hamlin on the Wall, Advances to NASCAR Championship 4

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

What did we just watch, Outsiders? The NASCAR Championship 4 was decided after Ross Chastain blew past Denny Hamlin. It was right at the finish. No one saw it coming. Not even Chastain probably. Hamlin had raced great off the final caution, but Chastain did something insane.

All day the battle between Ross Chastain and Denny Hamlin was back and forth. They were tied at times, Chastain led at times, Hamlin led – it was almost perfect. It really felt as though Hamlin was ready to put this one away but then a cloud of smoke appeared behind him about 20 meters from the finish line.

It was Chastain and the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevy.

The guys in the NBC NASCAR booth said it was like watching a video game he was moving so fast on that wall. Hell, it was like something out of Cars. If this was a video game it’s like when your controller dies in the middle of the race.

When it’s all or nothing and you see the one car you have to beat out in front of you, you do things you might not have ever thought of before. This was all instinct and a little bit of craziness. There was no guarantee this would work, but Ross Chastain put himself in the wall and kept driving until he was clear of the finish line.

Christopher Bell won this race in a must-win situation just like he did at the Roval.

Ross Chastain in the Championship 4

This is his first year in the playoffs. He wasn’t even supposed to be a Cup Series driver a couple of years ago. Now, Ross Chastain is in the Championship 4 and made one of the most incredible driving moves we have ever seen on a short track let alone Martinsville Speedway. When did anyone see this coming, though?

For a track that has seen just about everything go down, wrecks and fights and last-second wins and all that good stuff – this has never been done. A move that will be remembered for years to come. Now, he just has to finish it up.

Ross Chastain tore that car up and put himself at risk all to get the points he needed to be able to fight for a championship at Phoenix. Back in March, he was able to finish P2 at Phoenix. So, are we going to see a Trackhouse championship? After that performance, I’m not counting Chastain out.