NASCAR's Chase Elliott gets 1-race ban for wrecking Denny Hamlin

Chase Elliott (pictured) will miss this week's NASCAR Cup Series race after officials determined he intentionally wrecked Denny Hamlin during the Coca-Cola 600. File Photo By Gary I Rothstein/UPI
1 of 5 | Chase Elliott (pictured) will miss this week's NASCAR Cup Series race after officials determined he intentionally wrecked Denny Hamlin during the Coca-Cola 600. File Photo By Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

May 31 (UPI) -- NASCAR suspended Cup Series star Chase Elliott for one race for wrecking Denny Hamlin at Charlotte Motor Speedway, officials announced.

NASCAR said Tuesday night that Elliott will not participate in the Enjoy Illinois 300 on Sunday at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill.


"It was an intentional act by Chase, in our opinion, after reviewing all the available resources there," NASCAR senior vice president of competition Elton Sawyer said during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

"In the heat of the battle, things happen, but drivers needs to understand you have to handle that in a completely different way than hooking someone in the right rear and putting them in harm's way."

The incident occurred on lap No. 186 in the 2023 Coca-Cola 600 on Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Elliott turned his car left into the right-rear quarter panel of Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota. Hamlin's car slammed into the wall and went spinning. Elliott's car also sustained damage and exited the race.


Officials reviewed the incident and found that Elliott violated NASCAR's code of conduct, which cites that removing a competitor from contention in a dangerous manner while not racing for position can result in a penalty.

Hamlin immediately called for Elliott's suspension during the Fox Sports broadcast of the race. He also called the sequence a "tantrum" from Elliott. He provided further evidence for the potential ban on Twitter, saying Elliott "cranked" his steering wheel harder left than he did in any other corner during the race.

Elliott, who mentioned on his in-car radio that Hamlin pushed him earlier in the race, denied intentionally wrecking Hamlin. He called the run-in an "unfortunate circumstance"

"The No. 11 ran us up into the fence," Elliott told Fox Sports.

Elliott has missed six races this season due to a broken leg he sustained in March. Josh Berry filled in five times for Elliott. Jordan Taylor also served as an Elliott fill-in.

"We understand NASCAR's need to maintain consistency in its officiating," Elliott's team, Hendrick Motorsports, said in a statement. "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."

Elliott and Hamlin were credited with respective 34th- and 35th-place finishes. Ryan Blaney won Monday's race. William Byron, Martin Truex Jr., Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick also placed inside the Top 5.

Ross Chastain leads the Cup Series standings. Blaney, Byron, Kevin Harvick and Truex also sit inside the Top 5. The Top 16 drivers clinch a spot in the playoffs. Race wins result in automatic playoff berths.

Blaney, Byron, Truex, Christopher Bell, Reddick, Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Joey Logano are among the drivers with wins this season.

Elliott is winless and sits in 29th place in the Cup Series standings. The 2020 Cup Series champion and 2022 regular-season Cup Series champion finished inside the Top 5 twice and inside the Top 10 four times through eight starts in 2023.

The Enjoy Illinois 300 will air at 3:30 p.m. EDT Sunday on FS1.

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