If there was any doubt that NASCAR drivers are content to be back in the cars and not behind the wheel of a sim racer, it all came out at Darlington on Wednesday, the second of seven races slammed together in a marathon session that we predicted will test drivers and teams alike. On the first Wednesday night NASCAR race since 1984, the race went pretty much as you’d expect, but the way it ended was pure NASCAR pageantry at it’s finest. With twenty laps to go, Denny Hamlin was leading the pack with Chase Elliott charging past Kyle Busch for second place. What happened next…well, before you make assumptions, know that Busch already admitted his fault in the deal, but during Elliott’s pass, Busch checked up, caught the corner of Elliott’s stocker, and spun him off of the track and into the wall. Once the #9 came to rest, Elliott got out, waived off the ambulance crew, and waited for the pack to come back around, just so he could make his thoughts very, very clear to Busch as he drove on by. And that magic scene was caught on camera, in both edited and unedited forms.
In a later interview, Busch said, “There’s no question. I know I made a mistake and just misjudged the gap. When we were racing there with (Elliott) and I knew (Hamlin) had a run on him and I knew I needed to get in line as quick as I could. And in doing so I watched him and his momentum that was going by me and then I tried to look up in the mirror and see where Harvick was to get in and I just misjudged it.” Elliott’s crew chief, Alan Gustafson, had a chat with Busch after the race and told reporters, “Ultimately he made a mistake and I get it. I don’t think he intentionally wrecked us but you get tired of coming out on the wrong end of those deals too often. And I certainly feel like we were in position to win that race and Denny was in trouble on old tires and we were going to clear Kyle obviously.”
And the best news of all of this melee?
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) May 21, 2020
Actually, scratch that…this might be even better.
If we get 1,000 retweets we’ll get a t-shirt made 🖕! https://t.co/afVKww8GUO
— Chase Elliott Store (@CElliottStore) May 21, 2020