NASCAR: Chase Elliott jokes his leg injury was scripted

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Chase Elliott joked that his broken leg was part of the script for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season and that the scriptwriters declined his request to change it.

Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott was ruled out of NASCAR Cup Series competition indefinitely after suffering what was revealed to be a broken left tibia in a Colorado snowboarding accident on Friday.

The 2020 champion underwent a three-hour surgery on Friday, and JR Motorsports Xfinity Series Josh Berry replaced him behind the wheel of the No. 9 Chevrolet in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Before the 271-lap race around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Las Vegas, Nevada oval, which ultimately brought an end to a 254-race streak of consecutive starts that began for Elliott when he started competing full-time as Jeff Gordon’s replacement back in 2016, Elliott addressed the fans for the first time since his accident.

The five-time NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award winner joked that he tried to get his “script” changed for March, but the scriptwriters weren’t having it.

He later posted a more serious tweet, thanking fans for their outpouring of support over the last few days, but it’s great to see him joking around and in good spirits ahead as he prepares for physical therapy and what is expected to be a several-week road to recovery before he gets back behind the wheel.

Elliott’s comments about the injury being scripted are particularly humorous because of some of the recent discussions that emerged in late January, specifically after the AFC Championship Game, about the NFL being scripted and each team having a predetermined outcome set back before the season begins in September.

One former player in particular, Arian Foster, came out and said that each team and each player get a script at the start of each season. Other players jumped in with their own “script” stories — specifically by giving examples of their poor performances in certain games — to poke fun at Foster.

Foster was later asked if it was part of the script when his career “fell off a cliff” once he stopped believing in God.

Elliott will be hoping that his eventual return follows the same “script” as Kyle Busch’s in 2015. Busch missed the first 11 races of the 2015 season with a broken leg and foot, was granted a playoff waiver, returned, qualified for the playoffs with four wins in the final 15 regular season races, and went on to win the championship.

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Elliott remains a co-favorite to win the 2023 championship, despite having been ruled out for an indefinite period of time.