Chase Elliott confronts Denny Hamlin after 'unnecessary' Martinsville wreck
Chase Elliott was three laps away from his first NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series win of his career and a trip to his first championship race until he was wrecked by Denny Hamlin on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
Elliott, who led 123 laps on the day, had just pushed Brad Keselowski up the track to regain the lead when Hamlin got into Elliott's left-rear entering Turn 1 at the half-mile track on Lap 497 and caused him to crash into the wall.
Elliott finished 27th after a chaotic finish turned Martinsville Speedway into a parking lot in the overtime finish. Still upset, Elliott slammed Hamlin into the Turn 3 wall at Martinsville on the cool-down lap and the two shared some words after exiting their cars.
"The guy has been doing this long enough where it shouldn't happen. What he did was unnecessary," Elliott said after the race. "There's no reason for that. He knows the deal. He knows how this race works. He knows how Martinsville is. He didn't even try to move me out of the way. He just shoved me and wrecked me."
Hamlin responded: "We're trying to get a ticket to Homestead. I tried to get to his back bumper and spot him up the race track and I just went too deep. … It wasn't intentional [to wreck him]. I wanted to move him out of the way."
The pro-Elliott Martinsville crowd was also upset after the race, urging Elliott to fight Hamlin after the race and one fan tried to take it too far.
A Chase Elliott fan wants to fight Denny Hamlin. pic.twitter.com/kcGgfL6NNd— Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverAW) October 29, 2017
A fan just chucked this over the fence at Hamlin’s car on pit road. Landed right near a group of media interviewing Gustafson. pic.twitter.com/Euya09b40T— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) October 29, 2017
Elliott sits in last of the playoff standings after the wreck, likely needing a win at Texas or Phoenix to advance to the title race.