“You Can’t See Intent” – Dale Earnhardt Jr Condemns NASCAR’s Data Evidence to Prove Denny Hamlin’s Allegations Against Chase Elliott

Published 06/02/2023, 3:34 PM EDT

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NASCAR enthusiasts are familiar with the drama that unfolded at the Coca-Cola 600, generating a multitude of questions from both fans and media. The race saw a major wreck involving Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott. Hamlin subsequently expressed his concerns regarding Elliott’s actions and called on NASCAR to make a fair decision.

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In response to the incident, NASCAR officials took a day to carefully review videos and radio communications related to the wreck. After thorough consideration, they ultimately decided to suspend Elliott for one race. This decision left a wide fanbase of HMS’ Golden Boy disappointed and dissatisfied.

Recently, on The Dale Jr. Download podcast, Dale Earnhardt Jr and his co-host Mike Davis, along with guest Ryan Blaney, discussed the matter at length. Dale Jr commended Elliott for his clever responses during interviews, acknowledging his handling of the situation. He also directed everyone’s attention towards the SMT technology, which NASCAR relied upon to make their decision.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr shares his thoughts about SMT data

Undoubtedly, every decision made by the governing body is hotly debated among experts and fans. The same thing happened with NASCAR’s decision to suspend Elliott. The decision, based on SMT data, was criticized by some while others found it to be lenient. For those who are unaware, SMT is Sports Media Technology that is available to every team on the grid.

During a recent episode of the Dale Jr Download podcast, Dale Jr discussed the matter, stating, “I talked to O’Donnell and Denny and everybody is pointing to SMT”

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He then turned to Davis and Blaney to gauge their thoughts on the issue. Blaney responded by saying, “I feel like SMT is good in about thing, it is good to look at sometimes but I don’t think you can fully rely on it

Dale Jr emphasized the point of intent by saying, “You can’t see intent” from SMT. 

Dale agreed with Ryan’s perspective and emphasized that intent cannot be accurately determined through SMT alone. He also praised Chase for handling the situation adeptly during interviews, “Chase did a good job not giving away too much in his interviews so forth which everybody’s learned that’s kind a route to be take not to have immersion to guilt.”

Denny Hamlin talks about the wreck and reasons that Chase Elliott did it intentionally

It appeared that Chase intentionally made contact with Denny Hamlin, but Chase defended himself in post-race interviews by stating that it was a situation where nobody had full control over their cars. However, Denny Hamlin strongly disagreed with the reasoning provided by the 2021 champion.

Hamlin took to Twitter and shared car-tracking data in a tweet, which seemed to indicate that Elliott abruptly turned left just before the collision occurred between the two drivers.

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Furthermore, in his podcast, Actions Detrimental, Hamlin said, “He was having a s*** day anyway, in his opinion, and he threw a little temper tantrum and decided to hook a left on us down the straightaway.”

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He continued addressing the incident, “So, I don’t know. We’ve seen this. I’ve seen this with him in the past. When he got p*ssed off when Larson kind of drove him up in the fence at California. Larson’s leading the race at the end. He intentionally caused a caution there.”

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Written by:

Moinakhtar Akhunji

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Moinakhtar Akhunji is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. With a love for racing spanning almost a decade, he brings his passion and expertise to every article he writes. Growing up as an automobile enthusiast, he quickly developed a deep appreciation for the technical and competitive aspects of both F1 and NASCAR.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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