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The Real-Life NASCAR Move That's Straight From A GameCube Game

Things are possible in video games that would never happen in real life. Can people pose and flip like Bayonetta in "Bayonetta 3?" I don't think so. Mario would have a completely different physique if he could really jump that high. In other words, video games might mirror real life at times, but real life doesn't often copy video games. However, a recent move by NASCAR driver Ross Chastain has origins in an unusual place: the GameCube.

On Oct. 30, fans and professionals alike were floored by Chastain as he pulled off a move many thought could only be done in racing games. The official NASCAR Twitter account shared a video of the incident, captioning it, "Unbelievable!" In the clip, Chastain hugged the wall of the track, picking up speed, passing several cars, and making his way near the front of the pack. The move essentially required Chastain to ride on the wall, avoiding having to slow down in order to navigate the inner ring of the course.

"I have never seen anything like that before in my life," one announcer exclaimed. Truly, it was an unbelievable sight, and interviewers were quick to hunt down Chastain after the race to ask him where he got the inspiration for his game-changing move. Surprisingly, he said that he got the idea from something he used to do as a kid when playing "NASCAR 2005" on the GameCube.

How did Chastain pull off the move?

Chastain was all smiles during his post-race interview, excitedly explaining how he pulled off the feat. "I played a lot of 'NASCAR 2005' on the GameCube, which I had growing up, and you could get away with it," Chastain said of the wall riding move. "I never knew if it would actually work. I mean, I did that when I was eight years old."

He didn't just run into the wall with no plan, though. Chastain consulted with his team of mechanics before attempting to move. He said that on the last lap of the race, he asked his team if they thought he needed to attempt riding the wall, even though he wasn't sure who was in first place or what his chances were of propelling himself to the front of the pack. His team seemed positive about the risk, and Chastain took the opportunity. "Once I got against the wall, I basically let go of the wheel," he said. "Just hoped I didn't catch the turn four access gate or something crazy, but I was willing to do it." If Chastain had snagged an access gate or other outcropping from the wall, it could have spelled disaster, both in terms of his chances of winning and in safety.

However, the move worked, and gave Chastain a shot at moving ahead in the competition by propelling him from 10th place to 5th. Spectators were shocked at the move, partially because of how dangerous it was, but also because it does seem like a wild maneuver from, well, a video game. Fans had plenty to say about Chastain's race online, and many had trouble believing what they had just seen. Here's how gamers and NASCAR fans responded online.

Fans couldn't believe it

Game developer David Amador posted an alternate view of Chastain's move, commenting that it looked "like someone hits turbo on Need for Speed." Even the driver in the video didn't fully understand what was happening, exclaiming to himself as he watched Chastain swerve around the other racers. One gamer wondered if this would change the way people think about NASCAR, writing, "is this going to be a whole thing now? is this the new meta? will they fight for the wall?"

Hardcore NASCAR fans had a different take. One longtime NASCAR buff said that Chastain "made the sport look silly." Another commenter quickly said that they had never thought much of NASCAR before Chastain's maneuver, but that now they considered themselves lifelong fans. Others enjoyed the move in a more lighthearted way, joking that perhaps fans will see some "Mario Kart" style tactics in future races.

Some NASCAR fans appreciated Chastain's move because it was cool, but also because it gave attention to a sometimes underrepresented sport. One viewer praised Chastain for giving NASCAR "worldwide attention," regardless of how that happened.

It's unclear if NASCAR will change its official rules to disallow future racers from mimicking their favorite wall-riding video game moves, but for now Chastain's trick is legal, qualifying him for the next round of races. One thing's certain, though. He got the video game world's attention and won over a few new NASCAR fans along the way.