Chase Elliott and Joey Logano crashed out of contention in a heated battle for the lead with three laps remaining in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
With laps ticking down in the Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500, Elliott’s No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet charged low in Turn 3 and drifted up into Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford. The two cars clanged together and squeezed into the outside retaining wall, handing the lead and eventual victory to Logano’s teammate, Brad Keselowski.
"Just going for the win," said Elliott, who led 88 laps in a bid for his second straight Cup Series win. "Trying to get a run underneath him and got really loose in, and I don’t know if I had a tire going down or just got loose on entry. As soon as I turned off the wall I had zero chance in making it, so I’ll certainly take the blame. …
"I hate we both wrecked, but we can’t go back in time now."
Logano finished 21st and Elliott 22nd as the final two drivers on the lead lap. Elliott and Logano discussed the late-race exchange on pit road after the 500-lap event, a chat that left Logano dissatisfied with his foe’s explanation.
"He wrecked me," said Logano, who led two laps, including his final spike to the top of the leaderboard on Lap 497. "He got loose underneath me. The part that’s frustrating is that afterwards a simple apology – like be a man and come up to someone and say, ‘Hey, my bad.’ But I had to force an apology, which, to me, is childish. Anyways, man, we had a good recovery with our Autotrader Mustang and had a shot to win. That’s all you can hope for. I passed him clean. It’s hard racing at the end, I get that. It’s hard racing, but, golly, man, be a man and take the hit when you’re done with it."