Alan Gustafson says Hamlin “shortened his fuse” is regards to Elliott demeanor
The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs brought in a bit of drama. Specifically speaking, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin.
Denny Hamlin put the bumper to Chase Elliott for the lead at Martinsville Speedway. In the closing laps, Elliott was sent backwards into the fence.
Two weeks later, Elliott responded. After trading a few bumpers, Elliott returned the favor by putting Hamlin int he front straight-away wall. In his terms, “I race people the way they race me.”
It was a side of newcomer Chase Elliott that we haven’t seen before. Alan Gustafson explain what brought that other side to the surface.
“I’ve seen that side of him, all the time,” Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the #9 explained to Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“What transpired, in my opinion, is Chase is a really good person. That’s he demeanor. He’s very respectful.”
“He always treats people the way that he wants to be treated. And ultimately, he races people the way that he wants to be raced. He races in a very respectful manor.”
[it] shortened his fuse
“At times, too respectful. What transpired at the end of the year… [it] shortened his fuse. It got him to a point where he felt his philosophy or his attitude was being taken advantage of.”
By “it”, Gustafson is obviously referring to the initial bump at Martinsville Speedway. At the same time, a second bump at Phoenix, from the same guy.
“I don’t disagree with his opinion on it. I think that changed his outlook on the way he was going to race,” Gustafson concluded.
Neither driver transferred into the final Championship 4 round at Homestead-Miami Speedway.