Denny Hamlin Mar 12, 2023; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) before the United Rentals Work United 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After recommending that NASCAR suspend Chase Elliott after hitting him on purpose in last week’s race Coco-Cola 500, Denny Hamlin is opening up about the incident and his thoughts about the suspension.

Elliott will be sitting out this Sunday’s race from Worldwide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois. It pleased Hamlin (seen above in March) that NASCAR was swift with their decision concerning Elliott.

“They are putting a line in the sand of what they deem acceptable and what they don’t,” Hamlin said Saturday, as per Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass. “Certainly I think with all the information they have nowadays, it’s easier to confirm what they think they see with the naked eye.

“This is probably a point where all the drivers recognize now what you can and can’t do,” he said.

NASCAR rules strictly state that if a driver intentionally hits another driver, that could be cause for automatic suspension.

Another reason why NASCAR may have moved so quickly is that Hamlin is one of its biggest stars and is a veteran of the sport.

Ironically, the same suspension was handed down last year to Bubba Wallace, who is part of Hamlin’s 23XI team.

“I publicly reprimanded Bubba for those actions last year,” Hamlin said. “It was absolutely unacceptable, and we were very public as a race team on what we thought about that move.”

Hamlin will race Sunday despite still suffering soreness from the incident.

“I’m still not all the way back,” Hamlin said. “But I’m going to race and be fine [to race]. There’s just too much at stake. And that is ultimately why the penalties have been as harsh as they have in these circumstances.”

It was a good thing for not only Hamlin, but also Elliott, that this accident wasn’t worse.


About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.