Chase Elliott still frustrated, unmoved by Hamlin apology
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Chase Elliott was still frustrated Friday about what happened in the last race, when he was wrecked by Denny Hamlin when leading two laps shy of the checkered flag.
“I don’t know that my thoughts today are a whole lot different than they were then,” Elliott said at Texas Motor Speedway, where the Cup Series runs Sunday. “I am still pretty frustrated about it. ... Definitely not happy about it and I don’t think a whole lot has changed.”
Instead of the possible win that would have clinched a spot in NASCAR’s championship race, Elliott arrived at Texas eighth among the eight championship contenders. He was 26 points behind the top four with only two races left before the season champ will be decided at Homestead.
There was more reason for frustration later Friday when Elliott was among seven drivers who didn’t make a qualifying run after failing to make it through tech inspection. Elliott will start 34th, while all of the other playoff championship contenders made it to the final round of 12 in qualifying.
Even before anyone had the chance to ask the question earlier Friday, Elliott said he wouldn’t answer about whether he was going to try to get Hamlin back.
“Don’t even ask, because you are not going to hear it from me,” Elliott said. “Just don’t go there.”
In the Cup garage this weekend at Texas, Elliott’s No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports is the spot right next to the No. 11 Toyota that Hamlin drives for Joe Gibbs Racing.
When Hamlin was among Toyota drivers who visited the manufacturer’s new corporate headquarters in North Texas on Thursday, he addressed the situation and his attempt to personally apologize to Elliott.
“Any time I’ve seen things like that and someone had arrogance or no sense of compassion to the guy they just took out, it bugged me,” Hamlin said. “An apology was needed. The other side doesn’t want to hear it. It doesn’t make their day any better.”
Hamlin is seventh in the standings, 18 points ahead of Elliott.
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