NASCAR: Chase Elliott speaks out for first time since leg injury

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR -Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR -Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports /

Chase Elliott addressed fans on Sunday for the first time since the leg injury that has sidelined him from NASCAR Cup Series competition for the foreseeable future.

On Friday, Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott suffered a serious leg injury in a snowboarding accident in Colorado ahead of the NASCAR race weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

When the injury was announced by the team, Elliott was immediately ruled out for Sunday’s Cup Series race, ending a streak of consecutive Cup Series starts that began when he became a full-time driver as Jeff Gordon’s replacement back in 2016.

Elliott, who underwent a three-hour surgery on Friday night, was confirmed to have broken his left tibia, resulting in the team ruling him out for “several weeks”.

On Sunday before his 254-race Cup Series starts streak officially ended, Elliott addressed the public for the first time since the accident, first with a lighthearted tweet about his injury being part of the “script”, and next with a serious tweet thanking everyone for their support over the last few days.

Josh Berry, who competes full-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, filled in for Elliott behind the wheel of the No. 9 Chevrolet in Sunday’s race, and he finished in 29th place.

It was an overall great day for Hendrick Motorsports, which ended up recording their third top three sweep in team history. William Byron won the race ahead of Kyle Larson in second place and Alex Bowman in third. Each member of this trio has now won one of the last three March races at the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Las Vegas, Nevada oval.

There is no timetable on a potential Elliott return, though there is an implied sense of optimism since Hendrick Motorsports have applied for him to be granted a playoff waiver, which would mean he can still qualify for the postseason despite missing races. NASCAR will likely not make a decision on a playoff waiver until a timetable is established.

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Hendrick Motorsports have not confirmed who will replace Elliott for this coming Sunday afternoon’s race at Phoenix Raceway, the United Rentals Work United 500. This race is set to be broadcast live on Fox beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don’t miss it!