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NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports suspend spotter for Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports has indefinitely suspended Eddie D’Hondt, spotter for reigning series champion Chase Elliott, after learning that D’Hondt was arrested earlier this month and charged with assault on a pregnant woman.

The Hickory, North Carolina, Police Department arrested D’Hondt on May 12. first reported of D’Hondt’s arrest.

He has been charged with misdemeanor assault on a female and misdemeanor battery of an unborn child.

D’Hondt has a court appearance June 7 for the misdemeanor battery of an unborn child. D’Hondt also has a court appearance June 7 for the misdemeanor assault on a female charge.

Fox Sports reported a statement from D’Hondt’s attorney that said: “These unfounded charges have negatively affected Mr. D’Hondt’s career and damaged his reputation and he is currently exploring all legal remedies, both criminal and civil.”

Fox Sports reported the incident stems from a Sept. 7, 2020 argument over jet ski rentals, where an employee alleged D’Hondt, 62, made “full body contact and yelled in my face, pushing me back multiple times with body” and “hit my arm away” and “swung a fist at me,” according to affidavits.

D’Hondt has been Elliott’s long-time spotter. He worked the two Cup races after his arrest, including this past weekend’s race at Circuit of the Americas that Elliott won.

Hendrick Motorsports issued a statement Wednesday:

“We became aware of the situation (Wednesday) morning and have immediately and indefinitely suspended Mr. D’Hondt’s role with our company. We are taking this matter very seriously and will continue to seek additional information about the alleged incident.

“A spotter for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway has not been named at this time.”

On Thursday, Hendrick Motorsports had Trey Poole listed as Elliott’s spotter. Poole is Elliott’s cousin and was listed as one of the two additional spotters for Elliott last weekend at Circuit of the Americas.

The NASCAR Cup Rule Book states in section 2.11.a: “Any NASCAR member charged with any violation or the law (misdemeanor and/or felony) shall notify NASCAR ... prior to the next scheduled event or within 72 hours o being so charged.”

NASCAR cited that and also member conduct guidelines in indefinitely suspending D’Hondt.

In the Xfinity Series, D’Hondt spotted for Justin Allgaier. In the Camping World Truck Series, D’Hondt spotted for Austin Hill.