After not having the best of returns from his injury earlier in the season, Chase Elliott is right back where he didn’t want to find himself: amidst a nasty controversy after on-track contact with Denny Hamlin. The incident in question started when Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott were racing hard for position which saw Elliott get squeezed up into the wall by Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota. Not liking this aggressive move by Hamlin, Elliott retaliated by right hooking the JGR machine, sending Hamlin head first into the outside safer barrier and collecting himself in the process. Neither car will finish the 2023 Coca-Cola 600.
You Need To Know:
- During a post-accident interview with NASCAR on FOX reporter, Josh Sims, asked Elliott if his move on Hamlin was intentional. After explaining that getting squeezed up into the wall by Hamlin made his car unable to turn, he stated that it wasn’t intentional at all and it was the initial contact with Hamlin that caused the incident.
- Hamlin was also interviewed after the race where he described Elliott’s move as a “tantrum” and stated that Elliott should be parked for next weekend’s race at Gateway. He cites what happened between his 23XI driver, Bubba Wallace, and Kyle Larson last year in Las Vegas which resulted in a 1-race suspension for the No. 23 driver as precedence for his suspension.
- It’s hard to say how fans will come down on this accident, being very likely to see split reactions. On one hand, Chase Elliott is NASCAR’s most popular driver and can do no wrong in the eyes of many of his most diehard supporters. Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin is far from loved by the Elliott fan base dating back to when the two got together at Martinsville, further delaying Elliott’s first win. On the other hand, with his show Actions Detrimental, Hamlin has been changing the hearts and minds of many long-time NASCAR fans, gaining their respect.
Only time will tell if NASCAR will take action towards Elliott. If they do, we will be sure to update this story once the news breaks later in the week.
The Main Characters
Chase Elliott caught up with Josh Sims of FOX Sports after the incident. In the interview footage below, he blames the car’s lack of steering on the initial contact with Hamlin which saw the No. 9 get into the wall. He says that it was absolutely unintentional.
Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin and his whole No. 11 crew are very upset with NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, stating that Elliott should be given the same punishment that his driver, Bubba Wallace, got the year before after a very similar incident with Kyle Larson.
NASCAR on FOX reporter, Jamie Little, paraphrases the communications between Hamlin and his No. 11 crew on the radio following the incident.
Around The Garage
Late Model driver, Landon Huffman predicts for penalties to be handed down to Elliott a bit later in the week.
Steve Carnes urges Josh Berry not to make plans next week as he might just be in that No. 9 car again.
Dawsonville Pool Room goes to bat for their boy.
NASCAR driver, Landon Cassil, is disappointed to find the erosion of respect in the NASCAR garage.
Dawsonville Pool Room keeping it real, however, knowing that what Elliott did is strikingly similar to what happened between Larson and Wallace at Vegas. Only time will tell whether or not NASCAR sees it that way.
Dale Jr. reports that the 9 and 11 have been beating up on one another for laps before that incident even happened.
Dale Jr. reiterating the above statement.
In The Stands
Gavin McGuffey claims that Elliott was tagged from behind by Keselowski who didn’t have time to react. That was what sent Elliott into Hamlin. Not sure Hamlin will see it that way.
Derps Crafter claims that there was no contact between the two drivers.
Ken Turney claims that Elliott was already wrecking when he tagged Hamlin. Says that there will be no penalty.
JJ tweeted this footage of Bad Brad tagging Elliott from behind. Was it enough to send NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver into Hamlin? Hmm…
On Your Screen
The Iceberg on YouTube claims that Elliott ought to be parked if his actions were intentional.
DannyB agrees 100% with Hamlin. He does bring up a good point that it would be impractical to have Berry in the 9 next week. It’d be easier to get one of the veterans from the Truck Series…or, I don’t know, have Jeff Gordon suit up?
Out of the Groove’s Eric Estepp doesn’t believe that Elliott’s playoff waiver will be revoked if he gets suspended.
ACS Racing Network is having issues defending his driver on this go around.
From The Pressbox
Nascarcasm is looking forward to the newest Actions Detrimental which will be out sometime later this week.
According to NASCAR reporter, Davey Segal, Chase Elliott claimed over the radio that the No. 11 has been “running him over” for the last four laps leading up to the incident.
Nick DeGroot also notes the striking similarities between the Vegas Larson/Wallace incident.
Fireball Turnbull sees that this developing story will dominate the headlines in the NASCAR News World this week.
Jared Haas tweeted the significant damage to the No. 11 car which ended his day.
Reporter Chris Knight also reports that Hamlin stated that Elliott should be parked.
Dustin Albino reports on Hamlin calling Elliott’s actions a “tantrum”.
Daylon Barr pokes fun at Chase Elliott taking out a fellow Coca-Cola Family Racing Driver.
Jeff Gluck can hardly believe the defense being put up by Elliott fans after the incident.
He also acknowledges that Elliott HAS to deflect blame. Owning up to it, while commendable, is a guaranteed penalty.
NASCAR’s official Twitter page tweeted this split screen video of the incident from the two drivers’ perspectives.
Hamlin admitted, as per PRN, to “squeezing” Elliott. That still does not excuse the blatant right hook.
Beyond the Flag states that it does 100% looks intentional…but doesn’t completely omit the fact that there was contact between the 9 and the 6 prior to the accident.
Nascarcasm believes Berry’s phone must be blowing up right now.
Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports reports that NASCAR will look very closely at the Hamlin/Elliott incident and determine whether or not a penalty is warranted within the next 24 hours.
What do you think, Daily Downforce fans and readers? Was it intentional? Was there outside interference with the No. 6? Should Elliott be penalized? Where do you fall on the latest controversy in the NASCAR world?