NASCAR Cup Series

Chase Elliott suffers leg injury in snowboarding accident

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Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Chase Elliott will miss Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after a snowboarding accident in Colorado on Friday resulted in a left leg injury. Details of the injury were not specified, but an Associated Press report later in the day revealed surgery was successful.

Elliott was coming off a runner-up finish at Fontana after crashing out of the Daytona 500, leaving him fourteenth in points after two rounds.

While his timetable for return was not immediately disclosed, Elliott will receive an injury waiver to make the playoffs should he qualify. NASCAR has also waived the rule requiring a driver to be in the top thirty in points to be eligible.

“Chase’s health is our primary concern,” commented team owner Rick Hendrick. “He’s spoken with several members of our team and is understandably disappointed to miss time in the car. Of course, he has our full support, and we’ll provide any resources he needs. We hope to share another update later this weekend.”

Josh Berry will replace Elliott in the #9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. He has two prior Cup Series starts in 2021 for Spire Motorsports as a COVID-19 substitute for Justin Haley and Corey LaJoie, finishing thirtieth in the former’s ride at Dover and twenty-six in the latter’s at Michigan. Berry mainly races for Hendrick’s Xfinity Series affiliate JR Motorsports, with whom he has five victories and made the Championship Round in 2022. Two of said victories came at Las Vegas, both in the fall race in 2021 and 2022.

Prior to becoming a full-time Xfinity driver for JRM in 2022, Berry was a “super sub” of sort as he was occasionally called upon by Chevrolet teams needing a last-minute replacement. Besides the aforementioned starts for Spire, he ran the 2021 Truck Series race at Atlanta for Young’s Motorsports after Kris Wright tested positive for COVID-19 followed by the bulk of the Truck calendar later in the year for Rackley WAR after Timothy Peters’ departure. He also did part-time stints in JRM’s #1 as an injury sub for Michael Annett.

Elliott is not the only NASCAR driver to get hurt in 2023 while partaking in a winter sport. In January, Whelen Euro Series driver Michael Bleekemolen was skiing in Austria when he was hit by a snowboarder, breaking multiple ribs and suffering a pierced lung. He still intends to contest the NWES EuroNASCAR 2 season when it begins in May.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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