CONCORD, N.C. (WGHP) — Chase Elliott has been suspended from the next NASCAR Cup Series race after Denny Hamlin said he wrecked him in retaliation during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, according to a statement released by NASCAR on Tuesday.
Ratings dropped significantly when Elliott missed six races earlier this season with a broken leg. The driver of the number nine Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet is now set to miss his seventh race of the 2023 season.
Ryan Blaney went on to win the rain-delayed 400-lap race.
The Hamlin-Elliott feud began Monday when Elliott, after being driven up into the wall by Hamlin, appeared to make a sharp left turn into Hamlin’s right rear bumper. The hook sent the defending race winner into the wall, ending the race for both drivers.
Hamlin said he was so furious he couldn’t see straight when he emerged from the infield care center, claiming Elliott had a “tantrum” on the track and “shouldn’t be racing next week. Right rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable.”
Elliott, named NASCAR’s most popular driver the past five years, casually denied he deliberately wrecked Hamlin in retaliation.
“Once you hit the wall in these things, you can’t drive them anymore,” Elliott said. “So unfortunately not, no, just an unfortunate circumstance.”
Hamlin didn’t let up. He initially posted data on social media attempting to show Elliott’s hook was deliberate and didn’t let up Tuesday on his weekly podcast.
“There’s no explanation that he could possibly give, which he didn’t have a reason for hanging left. You know he obviously didn’t want to admit it,” Hamlin ranted on “Actions Detrimental.”
“I pointed out in the data that I tweeted that once he got into the wall, there was nothing wrong with his car. He’s turned the wheel back straight, like he was going down the straightaway, and you can tell by data whether you’ve got toe link damage or not,” Hamlin continued. “Everyone hits the wall. But he threw a hissy fit and he just hung the left on us in the most dangerous part of the racetrack that you possibly could and it ended my day and his, and in my opinion, he shouldn’t be racing next weekend. Because NASCAR set a precedent last year on this.”
NASCAR last fall suspended Hamlin’s 23XI Racing driver Bubba Wallace for one race after it deemed he intentionally wrecked Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson at Las Vegas.