CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Denny Hamlin called for NASCAR to suspend Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott after a wreck involving both drivers on Monday at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
After claiming on his radio channel that Hamlin bumped him twice during a four-lap span, Elliott appeared to hook the right rear bumper of Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota on lap 186. That sent Hamlin into the wall, mangling the defending race champion’s car and taking him out of the race.
Elliott’s car also sustained significant damage and he exited the race, too.
Hamlin was left fuming.
“It’s a tantrum and he shouldn’t be racing next week,” Hamlin said of Elliott. “Right rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. I don’t care.”
Elliott, the most popular driver on the NASCAR circuit, denied he deliberately wrecked Hamlin in retaliation.
“Once you hit the wall in these things, you can’t drive them anymore,” Elliott said. “So unfortunately not, no, just an unfortunate circumstance.”
Hamlin immediately pointed to last year’s race at Las Vegas when Bubba Wallace, who drives for Hamlin’s 23XI Racing team, was suspended for one race by NASCAR after it was determined he intentionally wrecked Elliott’s teammate Kyle Larson. Wallace also threw punches at Larson after the race.
“It’s the same thing Bubba Wallace did with Kyle Larson,” Hamlin said. “Exact same. He shouldn’t be racing. It’s a tantrum.”
Hamlin didn’t let up there, posting a simulation of the accident on his Twitter account after the wreck.
Elliott missed several races this season following a snowboarding accident and is 28th in the Cup Series point standings, so he can ill afford to lose valuable points as he did on Monday.
The top 16 drivers make the playoffs, and a victory earns an automatic berth.
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