Chase Elliott has been suspended for Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott will not be behind the wheel of the No. 9 Chevrolet in Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. NASCAR announced on Tuesday that they had suspended him for the Enjoy Illinois 300 presented by TicketSmarter.
The decision came as a result of the fact that NASCAR viewed Elliott’s move on Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin in Monday afternoon’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as an act of retaliation. The contact to the right rear of Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota took both drivers out of the event.
With Elliott set to be sidelined at the four-turn, 1.25-mile (2.012-kilometer) Madison, Illinois oval, the No. 9 Chevrolet will have a new driver this weekend.
Josh Berry, who replaced Elliott in five of the six races he missed earlier this year when he was out with a fractured left tibia he suffered in a snowboarding accident, is set to be racing in the Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway this weekend, so Hendrick Motorsports had to turn to somebody else to replace the five-time reigning Most Popular Driver.
Corey LaJoie, who drives the No. 7 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports full-time, is set to drive the No. 9 Chevrolet in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race.
Niece Motorsports Truck Series driver Carson Hocevar is set to make his Cup Series debut as LaJoie’s replacement.
A few years ago, LaJoie wrote a letter to Rick Hendrick expressing interest in replacing Jimmie Johnson. While that didn’t ultimately pan out, now he is set to get the chance to drive for the legendary team owner in the Cup Series.
Through the first 14 races of the 2023 season, LaJoie sits in 20th place in the point standings, 38 points below the playoff cut line, with a top finish of fourth at Atlanta Motor Speedway. If he wins on Sunday, his victory would count toward his playoff eligibility, despite the fact that he is not driving his usual car.
Hendrick Motorsports have applied for Elliott to receive a playoff waiver so that his missed start doesn’t affect his playoff eligibility if he qualifies, either on points or by winning a race or races. He currently sits in 29th place in the standings, 81 points below the cut line.
The Enjoy Illinois 300 presented by TicketSmarter is set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 from World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway at 3:30 p.m. ET this Sunday, June 4. Start a free trial of FuboTV and don’t miss it!