The incident, which resulted in a red flag, occurred on the backstretch and began when Elliott tried to move in front of Newman’s No. 6 Ford.
Contact between them sent Elliott into the wall and back into Newman.
After being hit from behind by Harvick, Hamlin spun into the outside wall before sliding down the track and plowing through the backstretch grass.
Elliott will go to a backup car.
“I know that Aric (Almirola) and I were trying to get up to speed,” Elliott told Fox Sports 1. “He got to the bottom and I thought, ‘Alright, I’ll go to the bottom.’ Well, that hole closed up. Was just going to kind of ride it out in the middle (lane) and fall to the back. Then I guess the 6 (Newman), I don’t know if I crowded him up. I kind of went up as he was coming down. Kind of hard to tell. I knew I got hit in the rear rear. Felt bad. If it was my fault I apologize. Yeah, it looks like I crowded him. Certainly not a good way to start the week.”
Said Newman: “It looked like the 9 car (Elliott) either washed up in front of me or drove up in front of me. I’m not sure if he was driving or his spotter cleared him and he just didn’t have a chance to react, but he filled a hole that wasn’t there and kind of caused a mess.”
Hamlin, who will also go to a backup for the exhibition race, wasn’t too upset by the incident.
“It’s just part of it,” Hamlin told FS1. “Last I saw (Newman) was crossing over my nose there and I felt a tag from somebody behind us. …This is what practice is for, to feel your car out and feel things you need to work on.”
Both Hamlin and Elliott will have to start from the rear of the field tomorrow.
It took nearly 30 minutes for crews to get Newman and Harvick’s cars removed from the backstretch grass so they could be driven to the garage.
“They’re probably mad, but I didn’t want them to haul the car back because they would have had to have lifted it up and tore the whole back of the car off and caused a lot of unnecessary work for the guys,” Harvick told FS1. “Saved us about three hundred grand.”
The only other incident in the session was Daniel Suarez spinning unharmed as he tried to enter pit road.
Joey Logano was fastest in the session with a speed of 196.785 mph.
He was followed by Jimmie Johnson (196.674 mph), Austin Dillon (196.622), Elliott (196.579) and Harvick (196.51).
The Clash is set to begin at 3 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 9, 2019