NASCAR officials announced Tuesday that they have decided to suspend Chase Elliott for one race after the incident with Denny Hamlin at the Coca-Cola 500 Monday.
NASCAR officials ruled that, indeed, Elliott intentionally crashed into Denny Hamlin on Lap 186 of Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, turning left into Hamlin’s right-rear quarter panel and sending the No. 11 Toyota head-on into the outside SAFER barrier on the front straightaway after a squeeze from Hamlin led Elliott to brush the wall at the exit of Turn 4.
Hamlin naturally was furious with Elliott and called for his suspension.
“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,” he said at the time.
Elliott said he did nothing wrong, but clearly, NASCAR officials didn’t see it that way.
NASCAR rules state that any driver who intentionally hits another driver will be suspended.
Section 4.4.C says: “removing another competitor from championship contention in a dangerous manner when not racing for position based on the available evidence and specific circumstances of the incident” as one of two actions that could result in a penalty, including race suspension(s).”
Hendricks Racing immediately replaced Elliott with Corey LaJoie for this weekend’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway, and they won’t appeal his suspension.
Hendrick Motorsports says Corey LaJoie will replace Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car this weekend at Gateway.
Hendrick also says they will *not* appeal the Elliott suspension and they will request a playoff waiver.
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) May 30, 2023
Although Chase Elliott has been suspended, Hamlin won’t soon forgive or forget the incident and probably will retaliate at some point during the season.