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The “Hackiest” Mistakes of the 2023 Season (So Far)

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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The new term in NASCAR for a driver that makes a head scratching move is “Hack.” That term tends to get thrown around a lot, but some drivers really have made “Hacky” moves during this season. Here are the “Hackiest” moves of the 2023 Cup Series season.

5. Sheldon Creed Wrecks Himself While Wrecking Sammy Smith (Nashville)

In the eternal words of one Landon Cassill, “The number one rule of stock car racing is to figure out how to wreck someone without wrecking yourself.” Sheldon Creed did not get the memo. He wrecked Sammy Smith intentionally heading into turn one, and Creed ended up spinning himself out.

Most thought the wreck was unintentional, until radio communications revealed that the wreck was intentional. The team even warned him that NASCAR would penalize him, but Creed did it anyway. He was docked 25 driver points for the incident.

4. Ross Chastain vs…Everyone? (Early 2023 Season)

Whether his fault or not, Ross Chastain seemingly always found his way into the spotlight for all of the wrong reasons. Now, Chastain has seemingly learned his lesson since then, but he still had two of these incidents in three weeks that furthered the narrative surrounding him. First, he wrecked a lapped car at Dover in Brennan Poole, which collected fellow frontrunner Kyle Larson.

Two weeks later at Darlington, Chastain ended up wrecking both himself and Larson from the front row on a restart. This was the climax of Chastain’s incidents this season, and he ended up being criticized by Rick Hendrick following the race. The best part is, again, Chastain has seemingly learned from these incidents.

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3. Chase Elliott Wrecks Denny Hamlin (Charlotte)

Chase Elliott broke the same rule that Sheldon Creed did, except Elliott’s move was far more dangerous. He turned Denny Hamlin hard into the wall at Charlotte at around 170 mph. Not only that, but Elliott wrecked himself in the process while also being suspended.

It was a move that is completely out of character for someone like Elliott. He also did it while already being at a disadvantage due to his injury during the early part of the season. Just not a smart move from a driver who tends to be very smart.

2. Corey LaJoie Turns His Engine Off (Gateway)

Corey LaJoie had his biggest career opportunity come at Gateway this year. While Chase Elliott was suspended for intentionally wrecking Denny Hamlin, LaJoie drove in the number 9 car. Unfortunately, it did not go well for LaJoie.

On the first lap, he shut the engine off by accidentally hitting the kill switch on the first lap. That set the tone for the day, as LaJoie was simply not competitive for the rest of the afternoon. Disappointing for a guy who a lot were excited to see what he could do.

1. Noah Gragson vs Turn 6 Tire Barrier (Chicago)

Noah Gragson ended up in the turn six tire barrier at the Chicago Street Race not once, not twice, not three, but four times. He ended up there on lap one after getting caught up in the mess of teammate Erik Jones and Brad Keselowski. The next three times, Gragson stuffed it into the barriers himself.

He caused three separate cautions solely because of his adventures in turn six. However, Gragson was able to laugh it off with some clever marketing. Honestly, good on Gragson for that, and it gave those of us in turn six a sight to see.

No one is immune from these types of moments. Everyone has bad days or bad weeks. However, these are some of the most “Hacky” moves this season. Maybe there will be more before the end of the season.

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts