While some in the NASCAR community believe that the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet, Chase Elliott, will get suspended for his on-race antics at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the betting odds for him to win the championship haven’t budged across the major sportsbooks. Elliott remains 8-1 to win this year’s title at DraftKings and FanDuel Sportsbooks. But as a Chase Elliott suspension looms, bettors can expect some line movement in the coming days.
Editor’s Note: NASCAR officially suspended Chase Elliott for one race following the publication of this story. Despite the decision, neither DraftKings nor FanDuel have adjusted Elliott’s odds to win this year’s title from 8-1. With Elliott suspended and the Xfinity Series in Portland, Corey LaJoie will pilot the No. 9 Chevrolet at Gateway Motorsports Park.
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Chase Elliott Suspension: NASCAR Championship Betting Odds Yet to Move
It’s been an eventful season for Chase Elliott. He has started just eight of the 14 Cup Series races this year because of an early-season injury that sidelined him for multiple weeks. Josh Berry substituted for him in the races he missed, but because of underperformance and penalties, the No. 9 Chevrolet ranks a dreadful 16th in owner’s points. Elliott himself ranks 29th in driver’s points.
Elliott’s season got a lot more interesting during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After getting forced close to the wall by Denny Hamlin, Elliott seemingly bounced off and drove into Hamlin’s right-rear quarter panel, turning him headfirst into the SAFER barrier.
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Hamlin, never one to bite his tongue, took to social media after the wreck to voice his opinion. He shared NASCAR’s telemetry data, which shows that Elliott deliberately turned the steering wheel to the left at a sharp angle after his contact with the wall, leading him to make contact with Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota.
Last season, NASCAR officials suspended Bubba Wallace due to a similar retaliatory incident, although he also got physical with Kyle Larson after the wreck. Hamlin himself was penalized for making intentional contact with Ross Chastain after the conclusion of March’s race at Phoenix Raceway but wasn’t suspended, likely because the contact didn’t affect Chastain’s finish. Even if Elliott doesn’t get suspended, he’ll likely lose some driver’s points, which won’t help him in the playoff hunt.
It’s unclear if the sport will suspend Elliott for a race following this incident, but precedent as Wallace’s wreck last season suggests they should. However, if the betting odds are to be interpreted as a meaningful signal, the sportsbooks likely don’t expect meaningful action against Elliott. He owns odds of 8-1 to win this year’s title, trailing only Larson, Hamlin and William Byron. Because Elliott is yet to win a race with just 12 remaining before the playoffs — and because he currently slots in 81 points below the cut line — the books’ confidence in him as a title frontrunner is noteworthy.