No, Chase Elliott wasn’t thinking he got intentionally dumped when he showed Kyle Busch a middle finger at Darlington.
Elliott said Friday that he was just upset that he was the guy on the wrong end of Busch’s mistake.
“Like I told him, I don’t think he wrecked me on purpose,” Elliott told reporters. “I think that he was trying to make a spot that wasn’t there. And, much like I told him, I get that mistakes happens, that’s part of life and I get it. He’s just not a guy that makes many mistakes, so for me to be on the poor end of a rare mistake on his end is, at the end of the day, unfortunate for me and my team.”
Busch and Elliott were racing for second behind Denny Hamlin when Busch tried to get in line behind Elliott on the straightaway. Busch misjudged where he was on the track and ended up clipping Elliott’s back bumper. The contact sent Elliott into the inside wall and ended his race. Busch went on to finish second to Hamlin after the race was called for rain shortly after the crash.
Busch said after getting out of his car that he made a mistake and he had relayed that sentiment to Alan Gustafson, Elliott’s crew chief. Gustafson had come down pit road to talk with Busch when the race was called as Elliott had to make the mandatory trip to the infield care center following his crash.
The two drivers talked after the race and Busch said Thursday that it went well. Had the race gone green, Busch and Elliott would have likely been racing each other for the win. Hamlin had the lead because he was out of tires and wasn’t able to pit during the caution that preceded the crash. Both Busch and Elliott had fresher tires and would have likely gotten past Hamlin in short order if it wasn’t for the crash.
“The whole reason Wednesday was as unfortunate as it was because we were battling for a win,” Elliott said. “So, I guess the bottom line is to try and put ourselves in position to win more, and that’s a good problem to have. That’s my goal. Who knows the circumstances? Nobody’s perfect — I get that, everybody makes mistakes. I’m sure I’ll make plenty of mistakes as time goes on. I get it, I just hate I was on the wrong end of a rare one on his end.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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