NASCAR News: Jarrett says coronavirus situation stopped ugly scene with Busch and Elliott

One-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Jarrett believes the late clash between Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott at Darlington on Wednesday would have sparked "ugly" scenes without the COVID-19 situation

NASCAR News: Jarrett says coronavirus situation stopped ugly scene with Busch and Elliott

NASCAR's return to the track took a twist when two of its biggest stars clashed on track, with Elliott giving Busch a one-fingered salute after contact between them sent him spinning into the wall and out of second position, allowing Busch's team-mate Denny Hamlin to win the second race back after the coronavirus postponements.

With the race red-flagged moments later due to rain, attention quickly turned to pit road where Elliott's team assembled on the wall near Busch's car - and appeared to be readying themselves for some form of confrontation.

NASCAR officials were quickly on the scene and appeared to dissuade any physical interaction between team members, as the sport's sanctioning body has made social distancing measures a keystone of its return.

Instead, Elliott's crew chief Alan Gustafson took it upon himself to speak one-on-one with Busch, with Gustafson having history with Busch as his former crew chief from 2005-07. Busch duly held his hands up for the mistake that wrecked his rival's race.

Appearing on NBCSN's Lunch Talk Live show, three-time Daytona 500 winner and NASCAR Hall of Fame member Jarrett said it was a sign of the times that there wasn't a scuffle between crews or drivers.

When asked if the situation would usually have developed into something more, 1999 champion Jarrett replied: "100%, that could have escalated in a hurry in a different time. Go back to last year, that would've turned into something with the crews getting involved.

"Even Alan Gustafson, a good friend of Kyle Busch, the crew chief for Chase Elliott, he knew Chase had this race in hand. He had the best tyres and he had the best car at that time, and was probably going to dispose of Denny Hamlin there.

"Chase would have got there and he probably would have been involved in that, and things could have got a little bit ugly. But we expect that from these competitors in NASCAR. Not that I'm advocating violence, but going and standing your ground? Hey, there's nothing wrong with that.

"We'll get back to that time, hopefully. We need sports, we need competition, and it makes us feel special seeing these athletes doing extraordinary things. We'll have some scuffling going on, hopefully before this year is over."

shares
comments
NASCAR News: Busch admits he made a mistake against Elliott

Previous article

NASCAR News: Busch admits he made a mistake against Elliott

Next article

NASCAR News: I don't think Busch wrecked me on purpose - Elliott

NASCAR News: I don't think Busch wrecked me on purpose - Elliott
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Drivers Chase Elliott
Author Charles Bradley
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020