Chase Elliott was suspended through next week’s Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illi., after it was ruled he purposefully crashed into Denny Hamlin during the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on Monday.
Hamlin got his wish as he was furious with Elliott for hitting his right rear, which forced him into a head-on collision with the wall.
Hamlin said after the race that he believed Elliott intentionally drove into him because he had forced him into the outside wall on a squeeze.
“I got right-rear hooked in the middle of the straightaway. It’s a tantrum, and he shouldn’t be racing next week. Right rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable,” Hamlin said.
Hamlin added that Bubba Wallace made the same maneuver on Kyle Larson in a prior race last year, which led to the two fighting on the track.
NASCAR made the suspension official on Tuesday, saying Elliott broke the Member Code of Conduct Sections 4.3.A. and 4.4.C and D.
“Drivers need to understand they have to handle that a complete different way,” NASCAR senior vice president of competition Elton Sawyer said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
“We understand NASCAR’s need to maintain consistency in its officiating,” Hendrick Motorsports, who Elliott races for, said in a statement via NASCAR.com. “The penalty will not be appealed, and we will submit a formal request for a playoff waiver. Corey LaJoie, 31, will drive the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway. We are grateful to Corey for stepping in and to the team at Spire Motorsports for making him available.”
Hamlin also posted on his Twitter account Monday night showing data that he says proves Elliott turned left into his car on purpose.
“Removing all doubt. His steering came back to the exact same position it had previously after we came off the wall. The higher the line on steering the further LEFT it’s going,” Hamlin wrote.
Elliott claims it was not an intentional move to hit Hamlin, saying, “Once you hit the wall in these things, you can’t drive them anymore. Just an unfortunate circumstance.”
Elliott will be missing his seventh race of the season.
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