Chase Elliott Once Gave a Big F*** You to Kyle Busch & Had Zero Regrets: “I Thought It Was Warranted, and He Was Deserving”

Published 08/12/2022, 11:15 AM EDT
Jun 26, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) and driver Kyle Busch (18) battle for position on a restart during the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

What happens when you cross the most popular NASCAR driver with the most polarizing one? The answer is definitely not a pretty picture, as Chase Elliott found out the hard way.


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Back in 2020 at the Darlington Raceway, Kyle Busch collided with Elliott, late in the race. This ended up compromising Elliott’s race, while Busch went on to finish in 2nd place.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 19: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, waits in the garage area during practice for NASCAR Cup Series 64th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

The obviously incensed driver gave Busch the middle finger for ruining his race. Elliott arguably had every right to be mad as he was running second at the time of the incident.


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Unfortunately, Kyle Busch tagged him from behind on the front stretch. That culminated in Elliott sliding down the track into the inside SAFER barrier, and the Hendrick driver ultimately finished 38th.

How did Chase Elliott react in the immediate aftermath?

When the #9 Hendrick Motorsports driver clambered out of his car, he was hopping mad.

So when Kyle Busch drove by during the caution period, Elliott stormed up the track and flipped him the bird.

When he spoke about his gesture, he was unrepentant and said, “I thought it was warranted, and I thought he was deserving.”

Eventually, Busch admitted his mistake and accept the blame. Even Kevin Harvick observed that Busch misjudged his lines and ran into the back of Chase Elliott.

Busch said, “There’s no question. I know I made a mistake and just misjudged the gap.”

“When we were racing the 11 and the 9 had a run on them and knew he had a run on him and knew I was there. I knew I needed to get in line as quick as I could.”


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“In doing so, I watched him and his momentum that was going by and then I tried to look up in the mirror and see where Harvick was to get in and I just misjudged it. I made a mistake.”


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Even Elliott’s team acknowledged that Busch made a mistake. Crew chief Alan Gustafson knew that the Joe Gibbs Racing driver did not do it intentionally, but did rue the lost opportunity to win.


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This was because, according to Elliott, Denny Hamlin was struggling on old tires, and they were about to clear Kyle Busch.

It is worth noting that Elliott escaped sanction for walking toward the track to gesture at Busch. The #18 driver later promised to talk to Elliott and try to clear the air between them.



Dhruv George

13405 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.