NASCAR’s Steve Phelps on Chase Elliott suspension: ‘We hate it but it’s a call we needed to make’

NASCAR favorite Chase Elliott was absent from Sunday̵7;s NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway after being suspended for intentionally colliding with Denny Hamlin in the Coca-Cola 600 last week.

While most drivers have supported disciplinary decision, A comment from NASCAR president Steve Phelps ahead of this past weekend’s race has left some fans confused.

Chase Elliott prepares to qualify for the NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway on May 13, 2023 in South Carolina. (Logan Riley / Getty Images)

According to Bob Pokras of Fox Sports, Phelps said Saturday that the decision to suspend Elliott was based on the precedent that was set when bubba wallace was suspended in October after Kyle Larson crashed in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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“It would be hard to have a conversation with Denny or Bubba or anybody else and say, ‘Hey, it wasn’t okay for Bubba to do this and it’s okay for Chase to do that,'” Phelps told PocRas.

“We hate it but it’s a call we need to make.”

It was Phelps’ final comment that left fans scratching their heads.

“So if I’m reading this right, Phelps really didn’t want Elliot suspended. I guess they didn’t want the backlash,” wrote one user.

Another user responded, “Why would they ‘hate’ to make the right call? He 100% deserved the suspension.”

Chase Elliott rides at Daytona

Chase Elliott during driver introductions at the NASCAR Daytona 500 February 19, 2023 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (AP Photo/John Roux, File)


Hamlin says he was swerved to the right by Elliott on lap 186 of the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hamlin and Elliott were side by side when Hamlin pushed Elliott into the outside wall. Elliott then made contact with the right rear of Hamlin, sending him into the wall.

Hamlin immediately compared and linked the incident involving Wallace and Larson “He shouldn’t be running.”

Drivers have supported the decision to suspend Elliott, who was voted NASCAR’s most popular driver for the past five seasons.

“I’m glad NASCAR is being consistent,” Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron said Sunday. “I think we’ve seen it in the past and it’s slightly different situations but similar. So I think it’s good to be persistent and I hope I’m never in a situation that I have to face Or lose.” Its the end.”

Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson

Bubba Wallace argues with Kyle Larson after he crashed during a NASCAR Cup Series race on October 16, 2022 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

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“What happened to Bubba last year was pretty similar to what happened Monday night,” Ryan Blaney said Sunday.

“If you’re going to call on one person to make a move, you have to be consistent in calling on another person to make a move. It is what it is. It’s good that they were kind of consistent in calling for exactly the same kind of retribution and I think that’s how it should be.”

Fox News’ Ryan Moric contributed to this report.