It’s been 18 months since contact with Chase Elliott cost Ty Dillon a win, but Dillon has not let it go.
As Elliott ran underneath Dillon during Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity race at Phoenix International Raceway, Dillon raced him hard for seventh. Elliott spun, bringing out the caution on Lap 140 of the 200-lap race.
“When you pinch somebody down, that’s what is going to happen,’’ Elliott told his team on the radio. “It’s nothing on purpose.’’
Elliott, who finished seventh, later said on the radio: “Sorry guys, I felt like I didn’t have much room, but it’s probably my fault.’’
Dillon, the series points leader, mentioned the Sept. 2013 Camping World Truck Series race where Elliott hit him on the final lap to win when discussing Saturday’s incident.
“I might race him a little bit harder because of what he did to me a couple of years ago,’’ said Dillon, who finished sixth. “Until I feel like we’re on equal playing ground, I’m still going to race him hard.
“I like Chase outside the car. He’s a good dude. He took me out of a championship two years ago. I think he needs to understand I haven’t forgotten.’’
Dillon described his viewpoint of Saturday’s incident: “Whether it was him driving in too hot or me coming down on him, when you get that close, there’s a buffer of air (and) you kind of get sucked to each other.
“I expect him to stick it in there, but I’m going to hold there. That’s what I expect out of him for many more years. Hopefully, we’ll race against each other in (Sprint) Cup and race for championships the same way and we’ll bring back a little bit more excitement to the sport.’’