Chase Elliott shouldn’t retaliate against Kyle Busch, says Hamlin

Darlington NASCAR Cup Series race winner Denny Hamlin says Chase Elliott shouldn’t feel he has to retaliate following the clash with Kyle Busch that wrecked Elliott’s chances on Wednesday night.

Chase Elliott shouldn’t retaliate against Kyle Busch, says Hamlin

Elliott had just passed Busch for second place as they raced towards the finish, but as he attempted to move back in line Busch clipped the tail of Elliott’s car, sending him spinning into the pit wall and out of the race.

After the incident, Elliott got out of his car and flipped his middle finger at Busch on the following lap under yellow. Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin went on to win the rain-shortened event, with Busch finishing second.

Hamlin and Elliott had their own spat towards the end of the 2017 season, as Hamlin wrecked Elliott at Martinsville before Elliott repaid the favor during the playoffs at Phoenix, bumping him hard enough to cut a tire and causing Hamlin to wreck later.

“We’re talking about this more, right, because he’s popular,” Hamlin told Motorsport on NBC about Wednesday’s incident. “Everyone is cut-throat on the space right now, even Chase. He cut us off at least twice and got us some nose damage in these last two events. I don’t fault him, because everyone is fighting for every inch or two of space.

“Kyle explained it exactly as it happened. If he didn’t get in the hole behind the #9 and [in front of] the #4 he would get freight-trained. It’s almost like superspeedway racing. He thought the #9 had a faster run going. He’s looking in his mirror and turned right. It happens in our sport more than you’d notice – and guys are [often] pissed off with each other. It’s just the two people involved here are pretty popular.”

Read Also:

When asked if he expected Elliott to search for retribution on the track against Busch, Hamlin said: “If Chase were to retaliate, you’d know it was intentional, right? What Kyle did was unintentional. Is the score really even if one was intentional and one is not? Probably not. The result might be equal, but it’s not when it comes to intention.

“If Chase doesn’t retaliate, the drivers won’t think any less of him. We don’t expect Chase to go out there and do anything to him, and if he does, that would raise your eyebrows more than what Kyle did. I don’t think Chase needs to fight for relevance. We all know he’s good and talented, he’s gonna win a ton of races.

“I don’t race him any differently. I race him tough, same as I did before I crashed him at Martinsville. That’s a sign of respect for me. But there are times you don’t race tough, you have to race smart and that’s what wins races.”

Read Also:

For his part, Elliott was asked about the collisions with both Gibbs drivers, and refuted any notion that it meant there was a rivalry building towards either of them.

“I don’t know that I would call them rivalries,” said Elliott during a media call on Friday. “I got crashed on both occasions, so at the end of the day, it’s just unfortunate for me.

“I don’t know if it does or not, that’s just kind of the way it’s worked out. Two moments that were in closing laps and battling for a win like that I think certainly adds to the spotlight, more so than the names [involved].”

When asked about the code of conduct between the drivers when it comes to admission of blame for an incident, Elliott said it depends on the individual involved whether it's accepted.

“I really think it depends on the person and how much respect you either had or didn’t have for that person prior to the moment,” said Elliott. “From Kyle’s situation, Kyle and I have gotten along for many years. I feel like I’ve raced him with a lot of respect because I respect him.

“I think he’s really good, and he is. A two-time champion should be respected, in my opinion. I think he’s earned that right.

“The respect from my end was there prior to the event, so to hear that from a champion and a guy that we’ve raced really hard and clean together over the years, I think goes further than someone who I don’t care for as much, or somebody I don’t get along with as well, or somebody that doesn’t race with that kind of respect or that kind of integrity on the track. I think it really depends on the person.”

shares
comments
Kyle Larson "can’t even describe" his World of Outlaws win

Previous article

Kyle Larson "can’t even describe" his World of Outlaws win

Next article

Kurt Busch tops Jimmie Johnson for Coke 600 pole

Kurt Busch tops Jimmie Johnson for Coke 600 pole
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021