After what happened at Martinsville, you know what Chase Elliott is thinking. He’s thinking what just about anyone who’s not a Denny Hamlin fan is thinking. If that happened to me, I’d punt Hambone the first chance I got. I’d make it clear, “Buddy, you did it once; there won’t be a second time.”
As tempting as that is, Chase Elliott has bigger fish to fry. The youngster has a legitimate shot at winning a NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series title- something Denny Hamlin has not done. You see where I’m going with this?
They say revenge is a dish best served cold. The best thing Chase Elliott can do for himself- and stick it to Hamlin in the process- is to go out and win the thing. It gets Elliott his first career Cup win, it punches his ticket to Homestead to race for a title, and raises with the possibility of leaving Hamlin on the outside looking in, or sets up one helluva battle.
Winning is not as much of a reach as one might think. He’s due. Chase Elliott has 10 top five finishes this season and he did the same last year. Some would say he’s raced a little too conservative to be a winner. I’d say he was lacking motivation to go for broke before, he isn’t now.
The Chase Elliott-Denny Hamlin kerfuffle makes for interesting copy. Both race for great teams, both are capable of winning, and right now, neither one like each other much. It would be tempting to get caught up in the emotion of it and do something like Matt Kenseth did to Joey Logano a few seasons back. The smarter approach for Elliott is to keep his cool and see what happens next. What could happen is Chase Elliott will find himself admitted to the club, and Hamlin left out in the rain.