NASCAR Cup Series
Chase Elliott to Undergo Surgery Following Snowboarding Accident; Will Not Race at Vegas
Mar 4, 2023
On Saturday morning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports team president and general manager Jeff Andrews gave an update on the medical condition of Chase Elliott, who was injured in a snowboarding accident Friday evening in Colorado.
According to Andrews, Elliott underwent a successful three-hour surgery on Friday evening to repair a broken tibia. Andrews says that while Elliott is disappointed in his injury, he is doing well post-surgery and is expected to be discharged from the hospital on Saturday.
Andrews could not give a definitive timeline on when Elliott would return to driving the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, but did say that the expectation is that Elliott will be out for multiple races.
“That’s really the extent that we know. There is no timeline at this point in time. We would expect this, obviously, to be several weeks, but beyond that I don’t have a timeline to offer for you,” Andrews said. “We’ll obviously work with Chase and his doctors in the future to determine that.”
Hendrick Motorsports, which in recent years has encouraged its drivers to do more away from the race track in an effort to bolster their own pop-culture and racing-culture profiles, isn't expected to make any changes to its current policy despite Elliott's injury.
“It won’t force us to re-evaluate any policies,” Andrews explained. “I think these guys have to go live a life outside of the race track. And certainly what Chase was doing was not anything abnormal for him. He’s an experienced snowboarder, he’s been doing it most of his life. It was an accident.”
At the end of the day, Andrews and Hendrick Motorsports want its race car drivers to live their lives.
HMS has formally requested a medical waiver for Elliott, which if granted by NASCAR would allow Elliott to remain eligible to compete for a second NASCAR Cup Series championship when he returns this season.
It is to be determined what NASCAR's decision will be on the waiver, but Andrews states that the team will support any decision NASCAR makes on the matter.
While everyone's thoughts are with the sport's Most Popular Driver, and the hope is that Elliott can return to the track quickly, the focus of this weekend shifts to 32-year-old Josh Berry, who has made two NASCAR Cup Series starts prior to this weekend.
While Berry's talent behind the wheel was one factor HMS considered when they selected the racer, Andrews states Berry's stature helped factor into the decision as well.
“Really, the decision was made a lot about Josh’s driving style and then of course the fit in the car,” Andrews said. “Trying to find someone close to Chase’s size, given the timing and what we had to work with here. Getting him fitted in the car last night. Those were really the two main decisions around why we wanted to go with Josh.”
Berry will start from the 32nd position in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400.
Photo Credit: Tim Parks/HHR for Chevy Racing