NASCAR driver Chase Elliott will miss Sunday’s race in Las Vegas after injuring his leg while snowboarding in Colorado, Hendrick Motorsports has announced.
Elliott, who fractured his tibia while snowboarding, had a “successful surgery” Friday night that lasted roughly three hours, Jeff Andrews, Hendrick Motorsports president and general manager, said on Saturday. Andrews said Elliott’s recovery is “going very well,” but he will miss some time on the racetrack.
There is no timeline for Elliott’s return to racing, according to Andrews, but his recovery period is expected to last “several weeks.”
“The most important thing is Chase’s health and his well-being, and we’ll work with him on that timeline,” Andrews said during a Saturday news conference.
“Certainly, is a little bit setback and Chase is very disappointed,” he added. “… We’ll have a seat ready for him when he’s healthy and ready to get back in our race car.”
The 27-year-old had not previously missed a full-time Cup Series start over the course of his career. Elliott had started 254 straight races, dating back to the Daytona 500 in 2016.
Josh Berry will replace the 2020 Cup Series champion and will make his third NASCAR cup series start, the auto racing organization said.
“Chase’s health is our primary concern,” Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, said in a statement. “He’s spoken with several members of our team and is understandably disappointed to miss time in the car. Of course, he has our full support, and we’ll provide any resources he needs.”
The Pennzoil 400 takes place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
Andrews said Elliott’s accident will not force Hendrick Motorsports to evaluate policies on what drivers can do during their free time.
“These guys have to go out and live a life really outside of the racetrack and certainly what Chase was doing was not anything abnormal for him,” Andrews said.
“He’s an experienced snowboarder. He’s been doing it most of his life. It was an accident, a similar injury could happen falling off a mountain bike or stepping off a curb while you’re jogging. It was an accident,” he added. “Chase feels awful about it.”