Chase Elliott reflects on his last trip to Martinsville and the altercation with Denny Hamlin; Details difficulty of the bump-n-run
On October 29th, 2017 Chase Elliott found himself at the front of the pack at Martinsville Speedway. The lights at the speedway were kicked on for the first time during a NASCAR sanctioned event and all hell broke loose.
Denny Hamlin put the bumper to Chase Elliott in turn 3. Elliott looped it and pancaked the outside wall. He was able to continue rolling but the chance at his first MENCS win disappeared.
This week, NASCAR returns to the paperclip race track for the first time since that altercation. Chase Elliott was asked about his current feeling of that altercation after a few months have passed.
“The coulda-woulda game, it doesn’t really matter. There was a lot that was laying on that race. It wasn’t just a win. It was a chance to go race for a championship.”
“That obviously had a lot of implications. But, it doesn’t matter. I can’t turn back time. We all know the things that could-have been.”
“So, there’s no point in getting caught up in it too much.”
Chase Elliott also discussed the bump-n-run in a general sense. It’s not easy to put the bumper to another car and complete the pass, without a wreck. Every car in the field is already on the edge, a bump most certainly pushes them over that edge.
“I think you race people how they race you. There’s a difference in moving a guy out of the way and them being able to move on and finish. That’s the tough thing.”
“To be honest with you, it’s very difficult to move guys out of the way. It’s easy to make a mistake and to wreck ’em.”
“I’m probably not good enough to move them out of the way and not wreck ’em. So, for me I just better figure out a way to pass them without touching them. [That] would probably be the best option.”
“But, there are going to come times were you’re going to be racing hard and you’re going to touch, move guys and people aren’t going to be happy. That’s part of it.”
“But, you gotta draw a line somewhere or you’re going to get taken advantage of. That applies anywhere in life.”
This weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway has been postponed due to weather. Hamlin will start in 6th. Chase Elliott will start 21st.