NASCAR’s Chase Elliott to miss multiple weeks after tibia surgery
Chase Elliott will miss Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after undergoing three hours of surgery to repair his broken tibia.
Elliott was sidelined from snowboarding due to injury, and Hendrick Motorsports general manager Jeff Andrews said there was no timeline for Elliott’s return to racing.
“We’re going to race with Chase Elliott for a long time, and we’re going to win a lot of races together,” Andrews said.
“Obviously, there’s a bit of a setback, and obviously Chase is very disappointed. The most important thing is Chase’s health, and we’ll have a suit ready for him when he’s healthy and back in a race car. Will be ready.”
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Josh Berry will drive the No. 9 Chevrolet in Sunday’s Cup race in Las Vegas.
Berry admitted he would need to adapt to driving the new car, but had managed to win two Xfinity Series races at the track in the past. He said his familiarity with the track should come in handy.
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“I’m going to be here learning a new car for an hour or so, so at least getting some success on the track, I think that’s definitely going to give me what I want,” Berry said on Saturday. Gives more confidence in what I’m doing,” Berry said Saturday. “It’s been a wild few days. You never know what’s going to happen when you wake up.”
Andrews added that the process has begun for Elliott to receive a waiver from NASCAR. If granted waivers, Elliott would be eligible to compete in the playoffs.
Two-time Cup Series champion Kyle Busch said he spoke with Elliott and shared his experience coming back from a broken right leg and left foot at Daytona in 2015.
“Even with a support system as good as I had around me during my injury, there was a time when we were watching the race on Sunday, and you kind of break down and miss going out there and your car. Being in and had an opportunity. To go there to compete,” Bush said.
“It’s what we live for and prepare our whole lives to be successful. Chase is young enough (27) and, I’m sure, healthy enough that it wouldn’t be anything crazy to go through.”
Elliott’s injury did not occur on the track, but Andrews said Hendrick Motorsports would not change its new policy regarding driver activities away from the track, saying “these guys have to go out and live a life.”
Elliott finished second last week in the second race of the season series in Fontana, California. Elliott was involved in a crash at the Daytona 500 a week earlier.
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He is a second-generation driver and the son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott. The Georgia native is NASCAR’s five-time fan-voted Most Popular Driver.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.