The only way Christopher Bell could have entered the NASCAR championship round was by winning at Martinsville Speedway.
Ross Chastain’s aggressive driving style hasn’t won him many fans in NASCAR’s premier series. Because of that strategy, he will now be vying for a title.
Chastain careened from 10th to fifth on the final lap to give Trackhouse Racing its first championship appearance. Chastain wedged his Chevrolet on the outside wall of the 0.526-mile Martinsville Speedway and was cruising at almost 70 mph quicker than the rest of the pack.
In Sunday’s dramatic regular-season finale, Christopher Bell earned his way into the NASCAR championship race while Chastain advanced with a maneuver more appropriate for a computer game.
Chastain attributed the big maneuver on the last lap to her video game playing.
Bell had to win to progress to the final four at Phoenix Raceway the next week, and he did it to secure one berth for Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota in the final. Bell advanced by winning twice in the second round of the playoffs, including the last contest on the road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
But this victory was unique.
Bell, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Chastain are the last four drivers in the Cup Series winner-take-all finale. Chastain eliminated rival Denny Hamlin from the title with his amazing last-lap scramble.
Hamlin was pleased yet dissatisfied.
Awesome move Brilliant. Undoubtedly a wise approach, “referring to Chastain’s strategy.”It’s simple to do that when you have no other option. But it was done well.
With five laps remaining, Bell overtook Chase Briscoe, who also needed to win to go to the championship, to secure the automatic berth. As a result of Bell getting collected in Bubba Wallace’s attack on Kyle Larson in Las Vegas, Bell fell to eighth place out of the eight drivers.