Race Weekend Central

Stock Car Scoop: Did NASCAR Officiating Over Chase Elliott’s Bumper Decide the Round of 8?

The Round of 12 concluded at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s ROVAL Sunday (Oct. 10), a rollercoaster 109-lap race in which nearly every playoff driver faced adversity. However, the biggest controversy coming out of the event was NASCAR’s decision not to black flag Chase Elliott while his rear bumper cover flapped in the wind for multiple laps before falling off and drawing a caution.

Should NASCAR have forced Elliott to pit road to fix the problem? How much did that decision make a difference in the reigning champ moving on to the Round of 8?

Meanwhile, Elliott’s teammate Kyle Larson scored his seventh win of the 2021 season. Does that victory make him the title favorite once again? Who’s best positioned to challenge the No. 5 car for title supremacy heading into the year’s final four races?

Bryan Nolen and Adam Cheek weigh in on those topics plus whether the feud between Elliott and Kevin Harvick has come to a head after the two tangled once again, this time at the ROVAL, to cause Elliott’s bumper damage in the first place.

Sign up for Stock Car Scoop on Apple Podcasts and Spotify or visit Frontstretch every Monday and Friday throughout the year.

About the author

Bryan Nolen is the Podcast Manager for Frontstretch.com. He also hosts the Frontstretch Podcast with Bryan Nolen and occasionally makes appearances on The Happy Hour Podcast. He has a Sportscasting degree from the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting. He resides in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two rabbits.

Follow him on Twitter @TheBryanNolen

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve R

NASCAR can not let their new wonder boy miss the next round, so they cheated for him, That is why so many fans have walked away from NASCAR, That is why their TV numbers are so bad and why the stands where pretty much empty yesterday, Funny how fans where mad last week for NASCAR giving Bubba the win, But the same fans have no problem when NASCAR cheats for chase, Bubba has to earn every thing he gets, Chase just get it handed to him,


Cry me a river. If it wasn’t for so called wonder boy, ie most popular driver, reining nascar champion, how many more fans do you think would have left the sport? They all have to work for what they get, some have to work a little harder because they are less talented or have inferior equipment but nothing is given to them.

Bailey the NASCAR DOG

Bubba didn’t earn SQUAT…, Chase can constantly run fast when thrown to the rear..

Bob Branscum

Don’t cry about it. Rubbing is racing.

John Chittenden

Au contraire Mont Freire fans walked away from NASCAR because of the stage racing, ridiculous 8 inch spoiler, restricting the cars on tracks where they have no business doing so, mostly to accommodate the new influx of fair weather fans and participation trophy generation kids and the like. Really wish they would’ve been interested in something else, golf maybe. Also Chase has won in every division he’s raced in, nothing was handed to him, had great racers as mentors not the least of which is the 1988 Champion and legend his Dad Bill Elliott. So please.


Lol nothing handed. Only the best equipment and personnel his father could gather…

Bill B

Absolutely, Elliott should have been black flagged and Harvick should have been penalized at least 2 laps or parked. NASCAR is unwilling to make the hard calls that officials need to make because they don’t want to F with the whole playoff dog and pony show.


The only problem with your assertion is that Harvick wrecked Elliott on purpose which you can’t. They were going into a slow portion of the track & Elliott came down on Harvick. However, NASCAR should’ve black flagged Elliott for the loose bumper, or during the caution caused by his car the track officials should have held him in the pits for a 1 lap penalty. Oh well, you know they wouldn’t since he is NASCAR’s wonder boy and drives for Rick Hendrick.

Bill B

You didn’t hear Harvick’s car rev up when he hit the back of Elliott’s car?
You didn’t see Harvick pretty much admit he did it as payback in the post race interview?
What are you, on dope?

Tracy Kirsch

Yes he should have been flagged. As for the park and penalize Harvick, I seem to remember ” HAVE AT IT BOYS ” by NASCAR a few years ago


Chase Briscoe would have been black-flagged in a nanosecond, but the last name was Elliott.


Byron never made a complete stop for driving through the checaine either. Even the announcers couldnt believe he wasn’t penalized. If I remember correctly drivers were penalized last year for the same thing byron done. More hendrick favoritism by nascar.

Steve Struck

I have been a nascar racing fan for many, many years. From back when it was fun to go and watch to the present mess. Nascar is it’s own worst enemy!! They manipulate the rules to suit the outcome they desire! No wonder they have a hard time getting and keeping sponsors. Companies jump on this month’s flash in the pan and then bail. All the empty seats are probably video gamers looking for a better experience for them. Stage racing is multiple races in a race. Crap! Bring practice and qualifying back. Run all races on Saturday, with Sunday as a backup day. (Rain,etc.) Nobody likes driving long distance to a race held on Sunday and have to go back to work on Monday, not seeing the race they spent big money on! I love racing! It’s nascar I have a real problem with!


Amen, Steve! Just common sense! I’m watching more F1 and Indy car racing. NASCAR ownership is its own enemy.

Kollyn Schippers

Indy is fine but f1 blows they are 100000% more biased then nascar and are boring to boot


Yep…….Elliot got away with it….but….remember Dale Sr losing Tories, coming out of the pits and his crew ran down to end of pit road and the tires back on….no penalty.! The Ernhart name got away also. NOW… watch Harvicks in car camera in the roval…….looks like the boy came down to cut in front of Harvick. Since when are you supposed to lift to let a car pass? Been a fan for 50 yrs……..but between the stage racing, too many road courses and those drivers who feel entitled( Bubba) about ready to hang it up. You can’t put politics and political correctness in motor sports.
Sure hope it gets better!!!!!

Dino Redd

Nothing new. Hendrick gets does not get touched by Nascar. . Several years back Jeff Gordon hD water spewing from his overflow. No black flag and Gordon wins the race. Multiple years back when Roush had all five of his drivers make the the chase, tons of complaints. Nascar limits to 4 teams so it does not affect Hendrick who was the only 4 car team.


Get a grip Dino and do your “Goesintas” better. Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs both have 4 car teams. Do you really follow NASCAR?

Kollyn Schippers

Your an idiot there is no rule about water coming out the over flow u obviously dont watch nascar it happens to many drivers at every superspeedway race nascar never black flags anyone for it your penalty is hurting your motor if two much spews out jesus can u be any more stupid?


Nascar tries to decide who wins and loses.i quit nascar years ago when they had cautions and told cameraman not to show anything. The playoffs are total joke. I will never watch or attend nascar. Saturday night dirt is thousand times better and alot cheaper.


Then WHY are you commenting here?!?!!!

Glenn McD

Voicing his opinion just like everybody else !


Karma is sometimes amazing!

Tom H

I am glad someone else mentioned that. Really have no dog in fight–don”t follow NASCAR nearly as much as I used to, but seemed really odd when I tuned in midrace and Chase’s junked car was being allowed to run laps. Seemed like a real safety hazard to other drivers and a complete ignoring of usual damaged vehicle enforcement policies.

Kollyn Schippers

No the damage rule policy is a time limit to fix it bumbers covers are not required for road courses. He met minnimum speed (set prior to race and used for all cars unless rain comes then its adjusted) after meeting minimum speed ur car is no longer deemed damaged thus when the bearer bond came loose and the bumber started floping around he was already off the damage vehicle policy dont comment unless you understand the rule you make your self look ignorant

Tim Shoemaker

Please don’t accuse someone of being ignorant when you spell worse than my 8 year old granddaughter. Chase gets special treatment. Had anyone else have had the bumper cover issue, they would have been black flagged.

Farrell Boling

The rule change in 2017 stipulated no hanging or dangling parts because when they fall off they r a hazard and threaten bodily injury.Check your rule book


My last name is Elliott.
I liked bill elliott and watched him.
Chase is a joke. He should have been blackflagged . please don’t hold it against me for having Elliott as my last name. I’m 70 years old but just let that punk stick his finger in my face.

Bill B

There was no reason to mention your last name. If you had not, you would not have had to worry about anyone holding it against you.

Russell S

You must be a ford lover? Bill couldn’t hold Chase’s jock strap

Farrell Boling

I was.a.fan of Bill’s and still am but Chase is a spoiled brat and will never be the man Bill is.Oh and it’s a known fact that nascar is a GM favorit.

Russell S

You must be a ford fan lol. Bill was never as talented as Chase already is.


WOW, interesting that all the NASCAR haters watch races.


The announcer even said during the race other cars were black flagged and call to petro for a lot less I’m not a Harvick fan maybe he should’ve been black flag to but parts falling off of the car possibly damaging someone else as a reason parts hanging off of the car that large and ignore the black flag should suffer consequences I’m not a Harvick fan but boy wonder and showing favoritism by NASCAR needs to stop he may or may not have got back into the Chase but it It could have a lemon needed another potential driver that call was definitely wrong




Nascar needs to go back to basics. For one, I don’t believe anyone is bringing up the audio that was played after the Harvick /Chase incident that spun “golden boy” where it’s stated that Chase needs to “takeout” the 29 in order to make it in the next round. Not sure if it was spotter or crew chief. Dale and Steve both commented how “they just announced it on national tv” Why wasn’t that addressed. In my opinion, this Chase/Harvick BS is just ratings bc Nascar is inconsistent. They are losing fans.Chase should have been black flagged 1000% but then again he’s a Hendrick driver and we all know who controls Nascar. Kyle Larson was a zero at Ganassi. Now he wins in everything he races. As far as Bubba is concerned, it was a rain shortened race. Bubba outsmarted the others by getting out front. Did he deserve to win, yes. I would have liked it better if they race wasn’t won due to weather. And lastly, bring back qualifying PLEASE.. Opening ceremonies on pit road is full of teams and driver families. Why aren’t they qualifying?

Bill B

Hey genius, did he actually take out Harvick?
So you want to penalize someone for saying he’s going to take someone out but not doing it, but let the guy that actually spun someone out and admitted it was payback in the post-race interview not have any penalty?

Randy L Elkins

I think it’s bull. If you crash on purpose to get a caution you get penalized. His bumper cover came off and caused the caution.He should not have benefited from the caution that he brought out. Nascar makes rules up as they go. I hope they keep losing fans. They just lost me. Hendricks must own part of Nascar for them to do that

Randy L Elkins

I thought you had to make a complete stop if you missed the schicane. William Byron did not stop completely. But Nascar says that’s enough stop meens not moving and another benefit to Hendricks.I bet if it was a Busch brother did a rolling stop they would have been penalized. No doubt


If it was anybody else not a Hendrick car the black flag would have been out. One reason why I’ve stopped going to the NASCAR race.

Winston Alvarez

#4 wreck looking in the mirror for #9
Fans very happy and loud when #4 hit the wall and lost it. Dirty Rat Racer Harvick #4. No respect and that is the result Hit the wall. Yes….


All I can say is Larson don’t forget to wreck your front end I my your victory burnout

WJW Motorsports

There’s actually a really simple way to know when NASCAR is playing favorites and/or allowing a team/driver to cheat compared to being unbiased, upholding the rules, making a sound call etc.. If it benefits your favorite driver/team/manufacturer, it’s all good. If not – NASCAR is cheating.


I think the number 9 should have gotten the black flag.


If you black flag the 9 you have to park the reason for it, the 4 car. Bumper would not have been flapping if not for harvick who later on saw the 9 coming and forgot where the brake pedal is located.

Share via