Chase Elliott scored the 17th victory of his NASCAR Cup Series career in Sunday’s M&M’s Fan Appreciation 400 at Pocono Raceway after race winner Denny Hamlin and second-place finisher Kyle Busch were disqualified in post-race inspection.
However, despite getting a fourth victory tallied onto his 2022 total, Elliott will not be celebrating his latest victory because it simply doesn’t feel right to the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion.
“Look, I don’t know if it’s a win I’m going to celebrate anyway,” Elliott said during a Monday media availability. “For me, I don’t really feel right celebrating someone else’s misfortune, number one. And you’re right, number two, it could change by Thursday or Friday or whatever.”
Elliott continued by saying, “The way I take it is, I don’t know the details of what went on. I don’t know what made [NASCAR] make that decision. Like I said, it’s not necessarily something I’m proud of or something I’m going to boast about throughout the course of this situation. I thought we were very fortunate to run third, to be real honest with you.”
At the end of the day, Elliott is a racer through and through, and he would prefer to score wins by being the guy who crosses the finish line first, not third.
“No race car driver wants to win like that and whether it gets overturned or not overturned or whatever, I’m not going to celebrate somebody’s misfortune or whatever for that situation,” Elliott reiterated. “That doesn’t seem right to me. I crossed the line third. That’s kind of how I’m looking at it.”
While Elliott will not be celebrating the win, what about the trophy that Hamlin received for the victory on Sunday? Will Elliott reach out and attempt to take ownership of it?
“I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it,” Elliott said. “Honestly, if he wants to keep it, he can keep it as far as I’m concerned. He crossed the finish line first. I haven’t really thought about that. That’s a great question. But I didn’t really feel like I earned it on track yesterday, so, if he wants to keep it, then I’m good with that. I’m not going to ask for it.”
Elliott just keeps finding new ways to showcase why he is the sport’s Most Popular Driver. He had every opportunity to dunk on his competition for being busted in post-race inspection, and not only did he not do that, but he also isn’t even celebrating the fact that he was named the winner of the race. And to put Elliott into G.O.A.T. status, he doesn’t even mind if Hamlin hangs onto the trophy.
Elliott is an absolute class act.