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“That Shouldn’t Take Away My Playoffs Berth”: Kyle Busch Uncharacteristically Sides With Chase Elliott, Slamming Bubba Wallace Insider’s Demand

Published 06/03/2023, 6:29 PM EDT

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It’s almost a week since the race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway saw Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin getting wrecked at the end of an intense tussle for position. The NASCAR community has witnessed an uproar since the incident and lots of debates and discussions have taken place. 

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Was it a deliberate move or not?

If it was deliberate, was it justified for Elliott to act the way he did? 


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Was it justified for NASCAR to slap the one-race suspension on the Hendrick Motorsports ace? Is it harsh enough?

The discussions have been endless. Even with the next race at World Wide Technolgy Raceway approaching, things are yet to subside inside the NASCAR camp. It has reached the point where NASCAR insiders and experts have had to choose sides whether the suspension is justified or not. While a majority has accepted the suspension as a welcome move, others have advocated for a more stringent penalty or talked against Elliott being given a waiver for the playoffs.

But it seems that Elliott has found favor with some of the biggest names in NASCAR. After Dale Earnhardt Jr came out in support of Elliott, Kyle Busch appears to be sharing similar views, which he expressed in a pre-race interview.

RCR’s Kyle Busch dumps the idea of stringent punishment for wrecking others

The Richard Childress Racing driver has been in the Cup Series arena for 19 years. He clearly knows what it means to wreck with contention. Moreover, like Elliott, he has also tasted the bitter medicine of getting suspended for a race. He had blatantly spun out Ron Hornaday in the Truck Series, back in 2011. 

Since then a long time has passed, and Kyle Busch has matured as a driver. Having said that, Busch was asked, “One driver wrecking intentionally another driver isn’t grounds for NASCAR denying a playoff waiver then, effectively, what is a one-race suspension effectively a punishment?” 


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To this, the 2x Cup Series champion replied, “Well, there are a lot of different ways you can wreck somebody, so I don’t think wrecking somebody on purpose should deter a playoff position. I think one race penalty is plenty. I think that’s fine, you get to sit out and you have to deal with the repercussions of your sponsor and your team and all the rest of that stuff. Trust me, I’ve been there.

“And you know so I think all that is valid. If you are a guy like myself that has two wins and I go out and retaliate against somebody who deserves it, just to set the records straight, then that shouldn’t take away my playoff berth. So I don’t agree with that.”  

Hours After Controversial Chase Elliott Verdict, Angry Fans’ Denny Hamlin Rant Takes Over Twitter


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Bubba Wallace spotter Freddie Kraft is left to bite the dust after stating his opinions on Chase Elliott

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Kyle Busch’s reply was a direct blow to Bubba Wallace’s spotter Freddie Kraft, who had demanded a graver punishment for Chase Elliott for wrecking his co-owner at 23XI Racing. He believed that the penalty was not stringent enough to set a precedent for other drivers.

He shared this in the latest episode of the Door Bumper Clear podcast, saying, “This isn’t something to gloss over. You should lose whatever playoff eligibility you’ve already guarded. You shouldn’t, your wins should not count, you have to win again or point your way back in. You have to make this hurt to make these guys to stop f***ing doing this because obviously, it didn’t stop when Bubba got suspended last year. So you have to make this hurt right now.”


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This clearly reinforces the fact that tensions are running high within the NASCAR community and how divided the opinions are. As the team gears up for the next race at Illinois, all Chase Elliott can do is spectate the race from afar while Corey Lajoie drives his #9 Chevy.   

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Ayantika Maitra

533 articles

Ayantika Maitra is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. It was initially Formula 1 that made her fall in love with the world of motorsports. But quickly, the raw and unfiltered nature of NASCAR is what led her to build an affinity for the Stock Car Racing Series.

Edited By: Nischal Kandpal