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NASCAR not likely to bar Ross Chastain move for Phoenix

Marty Snider, Steve Letarte and Nate Ryan offer their reactions to Ross Chastain’s shocking, inimitable move at the end of the race in Martinsville to make the Championship 4 in Phoenix.

NASCAR is not inclined to make a rule change that would bar a driver from repeating Ross Chastain’s video game move in this weekend’s championship races at Phoenix Raceway.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR chief operating officer officer, was asked Tuesday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio if series officials would follow the advice of some competitors and not allow a driver to run against the wall as Chastain did on the final lap of last weekend’s playoff race at Martinsville Speedway.

The move allowed Chastain to go at least 50 mph faster than his competitors and gain five positions in the final quarter mile. That was enough to get him into the championship race.

MORE: Dr. Diandra explains the physics of Ross Chastain’s move

O’Donnell said on “The Morning Drive” that Chastain’s move — which had never been successfully done in NASCAR Cup history — was within the rules.

“As with anything you see for a first time, you’ve got to take a look,” O’Donnell said. “We’ve had a number of discussions internally about that move and what-ifs. That’s within the rules, and believe that is where we’ll be for Phoenix, as well, and then something we can evaluate in the offseason.”

O’Donnell went on to say: “At this point in looking at it, it was a move within the bounds of the rule book and really don’t think it’s right to adjust the rules when for 35 points races we’ve been one way and throw a wrinkle in it for the 36th (race).”

Some drivers said Sunday that series officials needed to make a rule to prevent Chastain’s maneuver from being tried as soon as this weekend’s title races for the Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series at Phoenix.

Joey Logano was among those wanting NASCAR to make a rule change this week so Chastain’s move would never be repeated.

“As spectacular as it was, as much as it worked, the problem is now the box is open, right?” Logano said after Sunday’s race. “Now every Xfinity race, every Truck race, every Cup race, no matter the track, this wall riding is going to be a play. That’s not good. That’s not good.

“I mean, 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.”

Asked about if his move should be outlawed, Chastain was non-committal Sunday.

“That’s for people that we have appointed, that the sport has put in those positions, to make those decisions,” he said. “I’ve just not been around long enough to even have an opinion on it. Do I want us all coming to the ends of the races and flooring it? No. That’s not what we want.

“This is a race. This is a competition. Whether you pass somebody on the inside or outside, pass ‘em on pit road, pass ‘em against the wall, yeah, it’s unorthodox and it wouldn’t work almost every other time. ... I don’t know what they should do. I’m sure that I will talk to them this week. I’m sure that we will have lots of conversations about it. I will give my point of view and my opinion. But I’ll let them decide.”

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