NASCAR: Driver lineup change for Circuit of the Americas

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

Josh Berry will not replace Chase Elliott at Hendrick Motorsports in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott remains sidelined from NASCAR Cup Series competition with a fractured left tibia he suffered in a Colorado snowboarding accident earlier this month.

The 2020 champion and five-time Most Popular Driver Award winner underwent a successful three-hour surgery before it was announced that he was expected to miss six weeks of action.

After Josh Berry, who competes full-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, made his first start in relief of Elliott at Las Vegas Motor Speedway the weekend of his surgery, it was announced that he would continue to drive the No. 9 Chevrolet in the oval races until Elliott’s return.

However, Hendrick Motorsports opted to go in a different direction for this Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series road course race at Circuit of the Americas.

Three-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship champion Jordan Taylor is set to drive the No. 9 Chevrolet in this coming Sunday afternoon’s 68-lap EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix around the 20-turn, 3.426-mile (5.514-kilometer) Austin, Texas road course.

Taylor does not have any NASCAR experience — in the Cup Series or in any series. But his prowess in road course racing, highlighted by his three IMSA titles and his 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans victory, resulted in Hendrick Motorsports opting to go with him for the lone road course race Elliott is expected to miss.

Elliott himself has the most road course victories among active Cup Series drivers with seven, including four in a row from August 2019 to October 2020, so the team hope that replacing him with another road course ace will pay off in race six of the 2023 season.

This Sunday’s race is set to be Elliott’s fourth missed race of the year. If he does indeed miss six races, he would return for the race at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, April 16.

All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark. Next

The EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix is set to be broadcast live on Fox from Circuit of the Americas beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET this Sunday, March 26. Begin a free trial of FuboTV today and don’t miss it!