Chase Elliott still hasn’t spoken to Denny Hamlin about the incident last Sunday at Martinsville that cost Elliott maybe his best shot yet at his first career NASCAR Cup victory.
“As far as last week goes, I don’t know my thoughts are a whole different now than they were then,” Elliott told reporters in his media session Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. “I’m still pretty frustrated about it and really as the week has gone along it’s given me a lot of time to think about how close we were to going to Homestead (for the championship race).”
Elliott led the race at Martinsville Speedway with three laps to go last Sunday, his first career win in sight, when Hamlin nudged Elliott’s Chevrolet out of the racing groove and into the wall. Elliott, who had led 123 laps on the afternoon, finished 27th.
A win at Martinsville would have clinched Elliott a spot in the NASCAR championship race Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Instead, he now sits last in the eight-driver playoff field, 26 points out of the lead and facing an uphill battle to advance to that race, unless he wins one of the next two races for the automatic qualifier.
“If anything else, that will drive you up a wall if you think about it,” Elliott said. “Definitely not happy about it and not a whole lot has changed about it.”
Elliott confronted Hamlin on pit road after the race, with video clearly showing him tell Hamlin, “You wrecked me.”
But despite the fact that Hamlin has texted Elliott, and apologized for the incident on social media, Elliott hasn’t talked to him. The obvious question on everyone’s mind this weekend is whether Elliott has any payback planned for Hamlin.
“I’m not going to be answering any questions on whether I’m going to get him back or not,” Elliott said. “Just don’t go there.”
Texas Motor Speedway officials have played up the incident between Elliott and Hamlin. The track made promotional posters showing an image of the two drivers exchanging words on pit road at Martinsville.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 airs at 2 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN.