MARTINSVILLE, Va – Chase Elliott knows the hype around he and Denny Hamlin this weekend. After all, this is NASCAR’s first trip back to the Martinsville (VA) Speedway since their dust up towards the end of last year’s playoff race on the Virginia paperclip.
If you’ve been living under a rock, lets quickly rewind to last October. Lets set the stage. Elliott, was leading in the final laps of that race. A playoff berth to the Championship 4 was surely his. But, Hamlin purposely wrecked him in Turn 3 with just three laps-to-go, ending his hopes. Neither would end up making it to the final round of the playoffs and both took verbal jabs at one another as a result.
Elliott, would get payback at Phoenix.
Now, five months later, Elliott is shrugging off the hype of the incident. He understands we have a job to do, to write about it, but he’s moved on.
“My reaction is everybody’s got to try to write a story, right?” Elliott said. “It’s been a long time ago, last October to now has been a good while back. … I can’t do anything about it. So for me, when I think about that night, I try to make myself think about things that our car was doing that made us good and just try to run laps in my head.”
Hamlin, has moved on from the incident too. Both want to put this behind them.
“It’s part of short-track racing and it obviously gets used a lot for promos,” Hamlin said. “It’s part of short-track racing and it has been for many, many years. It was just bad to be a part of it on that particular night.”
But, one driver hasn’t moved on. His name is Brad Keselowski. See, everyone kind of forgets how Elliott was even in the lead in the first place. He moved Keselowski out of the way for the top spot. While he didn’t wreck Keselowski like Hamlin did to Elliott, he still moved a driver that was more dominating all day.
Keselowski, well he hasn’t forgotten about that and vows payback is still coming.
“I would expect it will come back the other way somewhere down the line..I’ll make sure it does,” Keselowski said about the move Elliott put on him and if he will repay the favor.
Maybe instead of Elliott vs. Hamlin, we need to look at Keselowski vs. Elliott.