NASCAR Cup Series
Chase Elliott Benched for Intentionally Wrecking Denny Hamlin; Corey LaJoie Driving Hendrick No. 9
May 30, 2023
The driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, who will sit out this weekend's race at Gateway, will remain Playoff eligible after NASCAR Confirmed it had granted a waiver for Elliott on Thursday.
Chase Elliott, the driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, will remain eligible for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs despite sitting out this weekend's Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway.
On Thursday, NASCAR confirmed that it will grant a waiver for Elliott, who was suspended following the determination that the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion intentionally crashed Denny Hamlin on Lap 185 of Monday's Coca-Cola 600.
In the NASCAR National Series ranks drivers must attempt to qualify for each event to remain eligible to make it into the Playoffs in their declared series unless granted a waiver by NASCAR for the absences.
This is the second waiver that Elliott has received this season, as he utilized one after a six-race stretch of missed events earlier this year. Elliott missed those races due to a fractured tibia in his left leg suffered in a snowboarding accident in Colorado.
In the race prior to his injury, Elliott had finished runner-up to Kyle Busch at Auto Club Speedway.
Elliott has competed in eight of the 14 races this season. In the six races since his return to injury, Elliott has a best finish of third, which came at Darlington Raceway three weeks ago.
The 27-year-old sits 28th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings heading into this weekend's race, which he will not compete in. However, the beauty of the NASCAR Playoff system for drivers in Elliott's position is that all it takes is a win, and Elliott is back racing for another championship.
Corey LaJoie was announced as the driver that will fill-in for Elliott this weekend in the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro. LaJoie usually pilots the No. 7 entry for Spire Motorsports. With LaJoie moving to the Hendrick entry this weekend, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racer Carson Hocevar will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the No. 7 Spire ride.
Photo Credit: Craig White, Racing America