Hendrick Motorsports Opens Up on ‘Unfortunate’ Chase Elliott Disqualification

Published 06/22/2021, 1:57 PM EDT
Jun 20, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) races into turn one during the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports


It was a mixed day in the office for Hendrick Motorsports at the Nashville Superspeedway. Although Kyle Larson won the race, the day was bittersweet as Chase Elliott got disqualified. The defending champion finished the race in 13th place, but a post-race investigation stole it away from him

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“It’s unfortunate. The lug nuts on the No. 9 were loose at the end of the race,” said Chad Knaus, HMS vice president. “At the end of the race Chase had a vibration. There were quite a few tire issues through the course of the day so they were hopeful that it was just a cord or something in the tire that was creating the vibration so they chose to run the race out.”

With Elliott’s disqualification, Alex Bowman got promoted to 14th place. On a brighter note, William Byron managed to finish in a fine 3rd place.

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What does this mean for Chase Elliott?

To make matters worse for the defending champion, there were multiple loose lug nuts. This means that Chase Elliott and the team will likely have to  cop a fine and crew chief Alan Gustafson will be suspended.

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May 30, 2021; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) during practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Admittedly the signs were there when Elliott reported some vibrations late in the race. Initially, he suspected that there was a cording issue, but now it seems that the real culprit was the set of lug nuts. Apparently, he had the option of pitting and avoiding being the cause of a wreck. However, he stayed out and crossed the finish line in 13th place and later got disqualified.

At least he can take comfort in the fact that he was not the only driver caught with a loose wheel nut. As it turns out, #19 Joe Gibbs Racing driver Martin Truex Jr also got caught. The only difference was that the officials discovered just one loose lug nut. In other words, his team were able to get away with a fine for the crew chief.

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Dhruv George

11766 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst 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.

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