Chase Elliott clearly has an issue with the NASCAR rulebook.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver was disqualified from Sunday’s Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway after NASCAR discovered five loose lug nuts on the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro. Elliott, who dropped from 13th to last place in the finishing order, also was docked a stage victory — and he wasn’t happy about it.
“If it had come off and we crash, we would then get to keep our stage points? Honest question,” Elliott tweeted Sunday.
The lug nut rule exists both to increase safety and to prevent teams from gaining unfair competitive advantages. Chad Knaus, vice president of competition for Hendrick Motorsports, insisted the violation was not intentional.
“It’s unfortunate. The lug nuts on the No. 9 were loose at the end of the race,” he told reporters, via NASCAR.com. “At the end of the race Chase had a vibration. There were quite a few tire issues through the course of the day so they were hopeful that it was just a cord or something in the tire that was creating the vibration so they chose to run the race out.”
Typically, multiple loose lug nuts result in a fine and a crew chief suspension. NASCAR likely will announce a ruling on the matter sometime this week.