In this corner ..
In a billboard more reminiscent of what you'd see before a boxing match, Texas Motorspeedway has put up a bulletin board proclaiming Chase Elliott, "The People's Champion. NASCAR reporter Jeff Gluck snapped the shot and tweeted it out.
That might not be far from the truth. In the week since hings got real testy between Hamlin and Elliott at Martinsville -- when Hamlin wrecked his foe, and the two had a heated exchange after the race -- Hamlin has been roasted on Twitter by fans, trolled by fellow drivers and now, booed during practice at Texas.
For those who missed the entire incident, here's what happened:
Hamlin issued a public apology to Elliott.
I've raced nearly 10,000 races since I was 7. Today was the first time I've ever spun the leader. I regret the outcome because it was not intentional the way it turned out but I'm responsible for my own car and take blame. Nothing I say now can turn back the clock but it's a life lesson and hop[e no kids out there who aspire to race thinks that's the way you should do it. It's becoming a normal in our sport now and I hate that I'm now in the discussion as a guilty party but I'll move on and hope Chase, his team, and fans will accept my apology.
The race was testy everywhere.
A fan got on the track at Martinsville and tried to go after Hamlin. The fan was apparently upset that Hamlin and Elliott wrecked during the contentious race. You can see a man wearing a jacket that says "Sheriff," and others, pushing the fan away.
As you can see, the fan got close.
He was apparently upset because Elliott got taken out by Hamlin as both were trying to punch a ticket to the championship race. After a heated exchange with each other on the track, the two drivers were interviewed:
Hamlin admitted he took Elliott out and said he felt bad for the team, but he also believed he was justified in trying to clinch a spot at Homestead. He also claimed he was being pushed when the wreck happened, but Elliott disagreed.
"I can't control his decisions and whatever the hell that was." Chase Elliott said.
Another interesting point was just how strongly the crowd was behind the 21 year old driver. Booing Hamlin and cheering loudly for Elliott during their respective interviews.