NASCAR entry list for Phoenix has one glaring omission

Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Phoenix, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Phoenix, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

Chase Elliott’s replacement at Hendrick Motorsports for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway has not been confirmed.

The entry list for this coming Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race, the fourth of the 2023 season, at Phoenix Raceway was revealed on Monday afternoon. For the third straight race, only the 36 chartered entries are set to compete.

But there was one glaring omission, and that was the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet. Hendrick Motorsports have not yet confirmed who will replace Chase Elliott in Sunday afternoon’s 312-lap United Rentals Work United 500 at the four-turn, 1.058-mile (1.703-kilometer) Avondale, Arizona oval.

Elliott broke his left tibia in a Colorado snowboarding accident this past Friday, forcing him to sit out Sunday afternoon’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After undergoing a successful three-hour surgery on Friday night, he was said to be out for “several weeks”.

There is not yet a clear timetable for a potential NASCAR Cup Series return for Chase Elliott, who was to have begun physical therapy on Monday.

Josh Berry, who competes full-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, filled in for Elliott at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and finished in 29th place.

Berry was listed as the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet for this coming Sunday’s race in the NASCAR roster portal, but that was always subject to change since the team hadn’t made any formal confirmation.

Hendrick Motorsports president Jeff Andrews said Sunday after the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that the team expected to make a decision on a replacement on Monday to make the preparation process a bit easier throughout the week. With Monday in the books, a decision could be made at any time and will probably happen sooner rather than later.

Given JR Motorsports’ affiliation with Hendrick Motorsports, many believe that the latter will continue to utilize full-time drivers from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Xfinity Series team to drive the No. 9 Chevrolet during Elliott’s absence. In addition to Berry, the team’s roster includes Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, and Brandon Jones.

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Tune in to Fox at 3:30 p.m. ET this Sunday, March 12 for the live broadcast of the United Rentals Work United 500 from Phoenix Raceway. If you have not yet begun a free trial of FuboTV, do so today!