Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Denny Hamlin Calls for Chase Elliott Suspension After ‘Tantrum’ in Coca-Cola 600

Denny Hamlin is calling for Chase Elliott, NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, to be suspended after a crash at the halfway point of Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 which Hamlin refers to as a “tantrum” by the Hendrick Motorsports driver. Photo Credit: Craig White, Racing America

Denny Hamlin’s quest to win the Coca-Cola 600 in back-to-back years has come to a grinding halt, after tangling with Chase Elliott just prior to the halfway point of the season’s longest event.

At Lap 186, the two drivers were battling for a position inside the top-10 when close-quarters racing saw the Hendrick Motorsports driver make significant contact with the outside wall in turn four.

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That’s where things got interesting, though, as Elliott’s Chevrolet Camaro veered left, right-rearing Hamlin into the frontstretch wall with extreme velocity, causing severe damage to both entries.

With both the No. 9 and No. 11 sustaining heavy damage in the accident, both drivers were forced to retire from the event prematurely, missing out on potential points handed out at the end of the second and third stages, as well as with a positive finish.

Speaking to FOX after exiting the infield care center, Hamlin didn’t seem overly concerned with his points total on the afternoon, dishing his thoughts on the situation that destroyed his Sport Clips Toyota Camry TRD.

“I got right-rear hooked in the middle of the straightaway,” Hamlin said bluntly. “It’s a tantrum and he shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. I don’t care, it’s the same thing Bubba Wallace did with Kyle Larson.”

Last Fall in Las Vegas, Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson got together at the exit of the fourth corner, which provoked Wallace to right-rear Larson on the frontstretch, causing a major accident. The 23XI Racing was penalized with a one-race suspension.

Let’s not get too hasty, though. Chase Elliott, on the other side of the incident, was quick to deny the accusation that he intentionally wrecked Denny Hamlin in the aftermath of the initial contact.

“Yeah, the No. 11 ran us up into the fence there, and once you tear the right sides off of these things, it’s kind of over,” Elliott told Josh Sims, adding later “Once you hit the wall in these things you can’t drive them anymore, so unfortunately not, no, just an unfortunate circumstance.”

Unless you’re Chase Elliott, there is really no way to know with 100 percent certainty whether or not the second instance of contact between the two drivers was intentional or not.

From this point, NASCAR will review several different angles of video footage, as well as the SMT Data from Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in order to determine whether or not the contact was intentional.

As the race entered the final stage, Hamlin took to Twitter to display the SMT Data of Elliott during the accident, which shows the No. 9 cranking the wheel to the left, saying “Absolute left hook. Cranked the wheel 4x harder left than he did making any corner through the whole day. Bullshit move.”

Any penalties stemming from Monday’s incident will likely be announced mid-week.

Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigleyhttps://tobychristie.com
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at TobyChristie.com

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