Chase Elliott. (HHP/Chris Owens)

Elliott Suspended One Race Following Charlotte Incident

Chase Elliott has been suspended from the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology (Ill.) Raceway, officials announced on Tuesday. 

NASCAR officials ruled that Elliott intentionally wrecked Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin on lap 186 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. After making contact off turn four, Elliott appears to turn left into the right-rear quarter panel of Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota, sending Hamlin head-on into the outside wall.

Officials cited Sections 4.3.A and 4.4.C & D of the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct laid out in the NASCAR Rule Book in Elliott’s suspension.

Section 4.3.A cites NASCAR member conduct and states “correct and proper conduct, both on and off the racetrack, is part of a member’s responsibilities.” Section 4.4.C lists “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).

Listed as an example in the rule book is “clearly forcing another competitor into the wall in an abrupt and unambiguous manner,” while Section 4.4.D lists “actions by a NASCAR member that NASCAR finds to be detrimental to stock car racing or NASCAR” as an action that could result in a fine and/or indefinite suspension.

Elliott will miss his seventh race of the season, after missing six races earlier in the year due to a broken left leg caused by a snowboarding incident in March. 

Hendrick Motorsports released a statement following the news.

“We understand NASCAR’s need to maintain consistency in its officiating. The penalty will not be appealed, and we will submit a formal request for a playoff waiver.”

Corey LaJoie, current Spire Motorsports driver, will replace Elliott this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Front Row Motorsports’ No. 34 team was also penalized after Monday’s race when the right-front tire detached from the vehicle on lap 344, a violation detailed in Sections in the NASCAR Rule Book, pertaining to loss or separation of an improperly installed tire/wheel from the vehicle. NASCAR suspended front-tire changer Scott Brzozowski and jackman Adam Lewis for the next two races.

Xfinity Series Penalties

Joe Gibbs Racing crew chief Jeff Meendering was fined $5,000 after the No. 18 Toyota of Sammy Smith was found with one lug nut not securely fastened following Monday’s Alsco Uniforms 300. The penalty falls under Sections in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Rule Book, which states, “all tire(s)/wheel(s) and all five lug nuts must be installed in a safe and secure manner during the event.”

Additionally, the No. 74 CHK Racing team was docked 10 owners points while driver Dawson Cram was docked 10 driver points. Officials cited Sections & H of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Rule Book for the penalty, addressing the quarter window and NASCAR-mandated NACA duct and outlet hose that must be used at all ovals 1.33 miles and longer.