Ken de la Bastide: Chastain, Gibbs in racing spotlight for different reasons

Nov. 1—There was plenty of excitement at the NASCAR races at Martinsville Speedway last weekend that has garnered a lot of social media traffic.

During the Xfinity race on Saturday after several overtime starts, Brandon Jones worked his way into the lead with a textbook move by using the low line coming off the second corner.

That move pushed Ty Gibbs and Noah Gragson up the track, and Jones took the lead by a car length.

On the final lap, Gibbs appeared to intentionally run into the back of Jones' car, sending him spinning into the outside wall.

That knocked Jones out of a championship playoff spot, and Gibbs went on to win the race.

I have never had a problem with a driver using a bump-and-run move on a short track to push another driver out of the preferred racing line.

What Gibbs did was a "wreck-and-run."

It knocked his teammate out of the championship race, and Gibbs now is vying for the title with three drivers competing for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s racing team.

Next year Jones will be driving for Earnhardt, and at this point in time it's likely Gibbs is going to have to deal with payback from Jones.

During the Cup race on Sunday, Ross Chastain used a move normally used on a video game to charge from 10th to fifth on the final lap and be in the championship chase.

Chastain showed a ton of courage by running full throttle through the final corners up against the outside retaining wall.

It was a tremendous gamble that paid off.

Other Cup drivers were not pleased with Chastain's move on the final lap.

Many are asking for a rule to be implemented for the future.

What rule would even be possible? For years, drivers have been known to use the outside retaining walls to get the famed "Darlington Stripe" to maintain momentum during a race.

Will another driver attempt a similar move in the future? Why not.

There are potential dangers involved. Chastain could have hit the cross over gate and been thrown back into the field of cars running on the inside.

NASCAR should not even consider a rule against the strategy. Drivers and teams will make that decision on the risks involved.

Chastain's move certainly put NASCAR in the sports spotlight for several days.


Some details of the Stars National super late model series starting in 2023 were announced on Friday.

There will be 10 races and a $100,000 points fund. The only known date on the schedule is that the All American 400 at the Nashville Speedway fairgrounds will be the championship race next October.

The questions remaining include a television package, length of the races, a title sponsor and the cost for a track to host a national tour event.

It will be interesting to see what other facilities will host a tour event in 2023 and where they're located.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.