NASCAR: Hendrick decision looming on Chase Elliott replacement

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

A decision will likely be made soon regarding who will replace Chase Elliott in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway.

Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott was ruled out of this past Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after he suffered a serious leg injury in a Colorado snowboarding accident on Friday. JR Motorsports Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry was called upon to replace him behind the wheel of the No. 9 Chevrolet.

After he underwent a three-hour surgery on Friday night, it was announced that the 2020 champion and five-time Most Popular Driver Award winner would be out for “several weeks”.

While no official timetable was given on a potential return to action, there was an implied sense of optimism when Hendrick Motorsports revealed that they had, in fact, applied for him to be granted a playoff waiver.

In relief of Elliott, Berry finished in 29th place in Sunday’s 271-lap Pennzoil 400 around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Las Vegas, Nevada oval.

But beyond this NASCAR Cup Series race, no replacement for Chase Elliott has been named yet.

According to Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, Hendrick Motorsports president Jeff Andrews stated that a decision on the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet for this coming Sunday’s United Rentals Work United 500 at Phoenix Raceway should come at some point on Monday to make things easier on the team as the week progresses in terms of preparation.

Possibly worth noting is the fact that Berry is set to be at Phoenix Raceway next weekend as well, as the Xfinity Series is scheduled to race there on Saturday.

Elliott, who has already been released from the hospital, is set to start physical therapy this week to officially begin his road to recovery — and to getting back behind the wheel.

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The United Rentals Work United 500 is set to be broadcast live on Fox from Phoenix Raceway beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 12, so be sure to begin a free trial of FuboTV today and don’t miss it!