Denny Hamlin Takes Direct Aim at Chase Elliott Fans Still Upset at Him Over Incident Years Ago: ‘Get Over It’
Denny Hamlin has been in more than a few conflicts throughout his career. Joey Logano comes to mind. Most recently, in the last couple of years, he had beef with a pair of Hendrick Motorsports drivers in Alex Bowman at Martinsville in 2021 and William Byron at Texas this past season.
However, several years earlier in 2017 at Martinsville, another HMS driver, Chase Elliott, was unhappy with the Joe Gibbs Racing driver following a late-race incident that cost him a shot at his first Cup win. This week in the first episode of Hamlin’s new podcast, he talked about numerous topics, including that conflict with Elliott and how he thinks fans of the sport’s most popular driver need to get over it.
Denny Hamlin dumps Chase Elliott at Martinsville
The second race of 2017 at The Paperclip was memorable, as is often the case on the short track. With three laps remaining, Chase Elliott ran out front and appeared destined for his first career Cup win. Denny Hamlin had other ideas, ran into the rear of the No. 24, and sent it up the track in a cloud of smoke into the wall.
The HMS driver showed his displeasure on the cool-down lap when he sideswiped the No. 11 car several times. Moments after both cars stopped on the front stretch, the upset driver confronted the veteran in a heated exchange.
Later that night, Hamlin accepted responsibility for the incident and apologized on Twitter.
“I’ve raced nearly 10,000 races since I was 7,” he said. “Today was the first time I’ve ever spun the leader. I regret the outcome because it was not intentional the way it turned out, but I’m responsible for my own car and take blame.
“Nothing I say now can turn back the clock, but it’s a life lesson and I hope no kids out there who aspire to race thinks that’s the way you should do it. It’s becoming normal in our sport now and I hate that I’m now in the discussion as a guilty party, but I’ll move on and hope Chase, his team, and fans will accept my apology.”
Hamlin sends direct message to Chase Elliott fans
This week during the debut episode of Hamlin’s new podcast Actions Detrimental, he talked about a variety of topics, including the studio setup and why certain pictures are hanging on the wall.
The 42-year-old said instead of featuring photos of his greatest achievements, like winning three Daytona 500s, he wanted to show some of his less flattering times, including some of his most-heated conflicts with various drivers.
“I want to show the not-so-pleasant moments I’ve had,” he admitted. “One I thought that was a must is behind (co-host) Jared’s head. It’s me spinning out Chase at Martinsville because every time I nudge someone, all the Chase Elliott fans are like, ‘Yeah, but look what you did?’
“I’m like, ‘Dude, it’s been five years or more than that now. Get over it. He’s gotten over it. Why can’t you? What’s your problem?’ I would recommend to them, don’t throw stones.”
Has Elliott gotten over it?
Hamlin’s comments about Elliott being over the Martinsville incident echo what he had to say last year during an appearance on the Stacking Pennies podcast with Corey LaJoie.
“Listen, I got my payback,” Hamlin said. “He wrecked me the following week at Phoenix and I didn’t make the Final 4 when I was going to make it on points anyways. It all squared up there. We got in a better place, me and him.”
Will Elliott’s fans ever get in a better place with the JGR driver and move on from Martinsville? Maybe. But it’s not likely to come after his most recent suggestion that they just “get over it.”