Watch a Crown Vic test Ross Chastain’s NASCAR wall ride
Back in October, Ross Chastain’s insane last lap pass sent the internet into a tizzy. By pinning the throttle and letting Martinsville Speedway’s retaining wall steer the car, the NASCAR star passed five competitors in one corner. The points gained by Chastain were enough to advance into the season finale’s championship shootout. Aside from the obvious spectacle, much of the chatter surrounded whether there would be a future attempt by other drivers and if the move was actually more dangerous than it looked. Leave it for someone on YouTube to recreate the stunt to experience the insanity and learn how much skill Chastain’s move took.
Cleetus McFarland, aka Garrett Mitchell, is no stranger to racing. In fact, in 2020, he purchased a defunct track in Florida to support his rapidly growing YouTube channel. Dubbed the Freedom Factory, the paved half-mile oval serves as an arena for his viral antics and Crown Vic endurance races.
Any other track would likely refuse to let you intentionally smash a car into their safety barrier. McFarland’s speedway might be the perfect—maybe only—opportunity to see if there is a better way to ride the wall.
To legitimize the stunt, McFarland brings Chastain in on the fun. Sporting a white lab coat with the name “Dr. Passemall” in black Sharpie on the chest, the NASCAR driver explains his thinking and gives some advice for the recreation. Chastain’s advice primarily consists of “it’s going to hurt” and “I won’t be doing it again.” He also points out that where the car makes contact with the wall is actually quite important in the attempt’s success, and that he even misjudged his entry point.
NASCAR fanatics may recall that Chastain’s stunt set a Martinsville Speedway lap record. To maximize effectiveness and up the stakes, dumpster casters are welded to the side of the McFarland’s Crown Vic stunt car.
After completing several benchmark laps using the conventional race line, McFarland is ready to ride the wall. He makes three passes at the wall before swinging by to instruct his crew to back up further and confess that he is truly uncomfortable with putting the car into the wall. After a couple more flybys, the Crown Vic pancakes the wall and runs through turns three and four before crossing the timing stripe … with a slower lap time than the benchmark lap.
You can see that McFarland’s attempt could have been smoother. Like Chastain, he slightly misjudges his entry point which amplifies the impact. As it turns out, there is a certain instinct in the human brain that you really have to fight in order to intentionally crash, whether it’s a cheap Crown Vic or a half-million-dollar race car. This video isn’t definitive evidence, but it certainly suggests that Chastain might be the only driver to ever accomplish this stunt, regardless of whether or not NASCAR permits future wall rides.
Check out the Hagerty Media homepage so you don’t miss a single story, or better yet, bookmark it.