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NASCAR adds ‘hail melon’ ban to rules

NASCAR adds ‘hail melon’ ban to rules
NASCAR bans 'hail melon' for qualifiers

Image source: Racer

NASCAR: There are several strategies for succeeding in sports, some of which are downright cheating while others pose a risk.

Typically, regulations are developed over the course of a sport’s history.

A professional driver recently attempted a prank at NASCAR, which spurred the organization to add a new regulation to the book.

The news

Professional racer Ross Chastain performed a dangerous maneuver in Martinsville the past year, which prompted authorities to take action.

The wall-riding technique he used to qualify for the championship race will no longer be allowed in qualification, NASCAR declared on Tuesday.

On the last lap of the race, Chastain continued to press on the pedal and drove up to the wall, allowing enough vehicles to pass.

By doing this, he earned a spot in the season’s final race and joined the other three drivers in the championship race.

The latest 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

Chastain made a smart decision in the 2022 qualifier.

For the final slot in the final playoff, he was aware that Denny Hamlin had more points than he did.

Traditional passes were challenging because of the distance to the other cars.

As a result, Chastain upshifted and drove his car into a wall while keeping his foot on the gas.

His lap was about two seconds quicker than that of the winner, Christopher Bell, thanks to the successful decision.

Ross Chastain moved up from 10th to 5th as a result, passing Hemlin on the final lap to secure points for his championship bid.

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

He repeatedly tested it out to see whether it would work.

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The maneuver, known as “Hail Melon,” was well-liked by other racers.

Another racer, Joey Logano, claimed that they all did it when they were young.

“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 action as embarrassing, stating, “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.”


NASCAR changed the rule as a result of Ross Chastain’s strategy because of how well he executed it.

When Chastain rode the wall, he recorded the quickest Cup Series lap time ever at Martinsville.

It prompted the question of how NASCAR could stop other drivers from adopting the maneuver as a standard practice.

The organization decided it should be prohibited because of how efficiently it was carried out.

Other drivers will be given a time penalty if they attempt to make the same maneuver.

It wasn’t a new regulation, according to Elton Sawyer, the 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.”

Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.