Hendrick Motorsports officials said Saturday that driver Chase Elliott will be out several weeks after suffering a fractured tibia in his left leg while snowboarding in Colorado on Friday. Elliott underwent a successful three-hour surgery on Friday evening, and there is currently no timetable for his return to racing.
Hendrick Motorsports team president and general manager Jeff Andrews shared that Elliott is expected to released from the hospital later Saturday. Beyond that, the team does not have a timeline for Elliott's recovery.
"For Mr. Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports, the most important thing is Chase's health and his well-being. We'll work with him on that timeline," Andrews told reporters at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "We are going to race a long time together with Chase Elliott and we are going to win a lot more races together. Certainly, this is a little bit of a setback and Chase is very disappointed. We'll have a seat ready for him when he is healthy and ready to get back in a race car."
Josh Berry, a full-time driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for JR Motorsports, will drive Elliott's No. 9 Chevrolet in his place on Sunday. It will mark the third Cup start of Berry's career, with the first two coming as a substitute driver for Spire Motorsports in 2021.
The 32-year old driver from Hendersonville, Tenn. has won five Xfinity Series races over the last two seasons, including the last two fall races at Las Vegas.
"I'm just thankful that these guys, Mr. Hendrick and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, thought of me to come fill in for [Chase] in this moment," Berry told reporters. "Without a doubt it's gonna be a great challenge for me, but with great challenge comes great opportunity for me to learn and grow as a driver and work around a lot of really talented and smart people here at Hendrick Motorsports.
"... It's definitely a great honor to drive for Hendrick Motorsports regardless of the situation. So I'm gonna try to do the best I can for these guys."
This weekend will mark the first race that Elliott has ever missed due to injury, ending a streak of 254 consecutive starts dating back to the beginning of his rookie year in 2016. The 2020 Cup Series champion and NASCAR's reigning Most Popular Driver finished second at Fontana last weekend and is coming off a 2022 season in which he won five races and the regular season championship before finishing fourth in the final Cup Series standings.
Hendrick Motorsports confirmed Saturday that the team has applied for a medical waiver to keep Chase Elliott eligible for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs upon his return to competition.