BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (AP) — Chase Elliott wrecked Ty Dillon on the last lap Sunday to win the NASCAR Truck Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, and a driver’s angry girlfriend got into action when she slapped a rival racer.
Elliott, the son of former Sprint Cup driver Bill Elliott, plowed into Dillon on the final turn on the 2.459-mile road course to take the lead and went on to his first series victory. At 17 years, 9 months, 4 days, he became the youngest winner in series history.
“We only have so many shots to win these things. I really hate to win them like that, I really do,” Elliott said. “That’s not how I race and that’s never been how I’ve raced before. I had a shot. I was up next to Ty and I knew he was going to try and chop me off. I tried to make up the difference. … Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get to victory lane.”
Dillon dropped to 17th, the last car on the lead lap, in the series’ first race in Canada and first on a road course since 2000 at Watkins Glen.
“You’ve got to show respect,” Dillon said. “I hope he runs Iowa (next week). He won’t finish the race.”
The ending of the race was overshadowed by a post-race altercation between Max Papis and the girlfriend of driver Mike Skeen, who approached Papis after the race and slapped him across the face.
Papis and Skeen had been battling for third in the closing laps of the race until contact between the two on the last lap ruined Papis’ finish. The two hit again during the cool-down lap, and Papis voiced his displeasure about Skeen during his post-race interview.
When he finished talking he was approached by a woman later identified as Skeen’s girlfriend and slapped across the face.
Papis complained to NASCAR officials about the incident and said on Twitter the slap dislocated his jaw.
Skeen, meanwhile, said Papis entered his team hauler after the incident and tried to pull his girlfriend down the stairs as he tried to get past her while looking for the driver.
Elliott, driving for Hendrick Motorsports in only his sixth series start, further explained the wreck.
“Had two ideas that didn’t work out for me and had an opportunity there getting into 10,” Elliott said. “I felt like the 3 (Dillon) was sputtering. I felt like he was really, really close or he was out of gas or something and got to his right rear quarterpanel and tried to move him out of the way and unfortunately ended up putting him in the fence. …
“He obviously wasn’t happy. He has a right not to be happy. I wouldn’t have been happy, either, but at the same time, like we all three said, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”
Chad Hackenbracht was second, followed by Miguel Paludo, Darrell Wallace Jr., Ron Hornaday Jr., Papis, Ross Chastain, Timothy Peters, James Buescher and Matt Crafton. Skeen was 13th.
Crafton leads the series standings, 47 points ahead of Buescher. Dillon is third, 63 points behind Crafton.
Ryan Blaney was the previous youngest winner, taking the Iowa race last September at 18 years, 8 months, 15 days.