NASCAR driver Chase Elliot received a one-race suspension on Tuesday after he deliberately wrecked driver Denny Hamlin during the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day, CBS News reported.
Hendrick Motorsports, Elliot’s team, said in a statement that it would not be appealing the suspension. It also announced that Elliot will be replaced by Corey Lajoie in this weekend’s race at Gateway near St. Louis.
The former Cup champion denied that he deliberately crashed into Hamlin when he made a dangerous left hook into Hamlin’s car during Monday’s rain-rescheduled race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
However, Hamlin insists that the crash was deliberate.
After the race, Hamlin posted simulated data on Twitter, arguing that the simulation removed any doubt that the crash was intentional.
Hamlin, who owns the car driven by Bubba Wallace, was suspended for a race last year after using the same hook move against Kyle Larson during a race in Las Vegas.
NASCAR said Elliott was suspended for violating the “Member Code of Conduct,” which states that a driver will be suspended if he attempts to remove another racer “in a dangerous manner when not racing for position” based on the specific circumstances and “available evidence.”
Elton Sawyer, NACSAR’s senior vice president of competition, told NASCAR Radio that after reviewing all “available resources,” NASCAR determined that the hook move was “an intentional act” by Elliott Chase.
Denny Hamlin said the wreck left him so furious that he wanted to fight Elliott.
Elliott, the son of Hall of Face racer Bill Elliott, denied that the wreck was intentional. He told reporters after the race that it was “an unfortunate circumstance,” saying once the car hits the wall, “you can’t drive them anymore.”
On Tuesday, Hamlin said on his podcast “Actions Detrimental” that Elliott pulled the move as payback for earlier contact between the two drivers.