Debate: Wreck to Win, Good or Bad?

Dan Benton Wednesday, Sep 04 1617

Bad Move But it was Exciting- By Clayton Caldwell

There is no doubt that I would have loved to see Chase Elliott win the race a different way on Sunday. He had a really strong truck Sunday and fuel strategy put him behind the three truck. However, at the end of the race there was no way he was going to get around Dillon unless he did what he did.

There is no doubt Elliott had a chance to win. I'd be a hypocrite to say it is okay to wreck someone for victory considering I have criticized many drivers in the past for doing the exact same thing. However, I believe a lot of people's opinion would be different if Elliott was racing for points. Since Elliott has run only a part time schedule in the 2013 season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Elliott is not in the championship hunt. Dillon is and the accident cost Dillon a lot of points. He is now 63 points behind points lead Matt Crafton with just eight races to go in the season.

If you look at what Kasey Kahne did last Sunday at Bristol was what people wanted to see Chase Elliott do. However, what Elliott did certainly peaked the interest. A lot of people wanted Kahne to use his bumper on Matt Kenseth, but instead Kahne ran him clean and finished second. It was still an exciting finish at Bristol, but what Elliott did added drama, something that has been missing from the sport over the last few seasons.

Don't get me wrong. I love racing and I would have loved to see a clean pass for the victory by Chase Elliott. However, what happened Sunday has been more talked about than the championship race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, like it or not.

It's Not Slam-and-Run - By Mark Eddinger

Chase Elliott went a little over the line on Sunday to win his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The 17-year-old took the checkered flag after slamming into Ty Dillon in the final corner of the Truck Series' debut at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park road course. Dillon's truck was sent spinning and heavily smashed into the tire barrier at Turn 10. Dillon ended up in 17th.
While the finish was surely exciting and just a week earlier yours truly was yelling at the TV for Kasey Kahne to run into Matt Kenseth at Bristol on the final lap, the contact that Elliott dished out was excessive.
A bump-and-run is fine. The key word here is bump. It's not a slam-and-run. There is nothing wrong with moving a driver out of the way for the win or even bumping side-by-side to the finish line. Hard racing is good. Hard contact isn't. Moving a car or truck slightly to get them out of the preferred groove or just loose is a lot different than just totally making heavy contact and crashing the leader. That is out of line.
Watching someone like Kahne not use force was almost brutal to watch but then again he certainly gains the respect of his fellow drivers. That is something that Chase Elliott did not do on Sunday. A nice rivalry between two very young and coming up drivers in Elliott and Dillon could have been born on Sunday.
Some might say that Ty Dillon chopped down across the nose of Elliott's truck in the corner but that really wasn't the case. Dillon had position and Elliott simply drove in too deep and took him out.
It might have not been intentional but it sure looked as if it was. He even did significant damage to his own truck. Fans certainly don't mind it and actually enjoy the crash-to-win, as long as it isn't their favorite driver getting torn up in the loss. So in the end Chase Elliott probably gained some fans and also probably lost some fans.
In victory lane he said he doesn't like to win that way but Elliott wasn't handing the trophy back either. Next time he might think twice about the excessive force he used in the situation to take the win but for now he can call himself the youngest winner in Camping World Truck Series history and a marked man in Ty Dillon's eyes.