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May 29, 2023

Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott crash out of Coca-Cola 600

CONCORD, N.C. – Denny Hamlin crashed out of the Coca-Cola 600 at Lap 185 on Monday evening after contact from Chase Elliott’s No. 9 Chevrolet at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Exiting Turn 4, Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota slid high, forcing Elliott into the outside SAFER barrier. Elliott then contacted Hamlin’s right-rear quarter panel entering the dogleg of the Charlotte frontstretch, sending Hamlin nose-first into the wall.

CHARLOTTE: Race results | Best photos from the weekend

After exiting the infield care center, Hamlin was blunt about what he thought happened.

“He right-rear hooked me down the straightaway,” Hamlin said. “The same thing that happened with Bubba [Wallace] and Kyle [Larson] last year.”

Wallace hooked Larson during the Las Vegas Motor Speedway fall race and sent both into a spin, culminating in hard collisions into the outside SAFER barrier.

Wallace was suspended from the following race at Homestead-Miami Speedway for violating Sections 4.3.A and 4.4.C & E of the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct laid out in the NASCAR Rule Book. Rule 4.4.C lists “intentionally wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result” as one of five member actions that could result in a penalty.

Hamlin said he believes the driver of the No. 9 should face the same discipline.

“It’s a tantrum and he [Elliott] shouldn’t be racing next week,” Hamlin said. “Right rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. I don’t care. Exact same. He shouldn’t be racing. It’s a tantrum.”

Elliott denied intentionally crashing Hamlin but expressed his displeasure with their on-track interactions.

“The 11 ran us up in the fence there, and once you tear the right sides off these things, it’s kind of over,” Elliott said after his release from the care center.

Asked specifically whether he retaliated against Hamlin, who won the 2022 edition of the Coca-Cola 600, Elliott attributed the contact as a result of the damage to his No. 9 Chevrolet.

“Once you hit the wall in these things, you can’t drive them anymore,” Elliott said. “So unfortunately not, no, just an unfortunate circumstance.”

RELATED: Hamlin’s interview | Elliott’s interview

A NASCAR spokesperson confirmed the sanctioning body would investigate the incident between the cars.