Chase Elliott will miss Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after undergoing a three-hour surgery to repair his fractured tibia.
Elliott suffered the injury snowboarding, and Hendrick Motorsports general manager Jeff Andrews said there was no timeline for Elliott’s return to racing.
“We’re going to race a long time together with Chase Elliott, and we’re going to win a lot more races together,” Andrews said.
“Certainly, there’s a little bit of a setback, and obviously Chase is very disappointed. The most important thing is Chase’s health, and we’ll have a suit ready for him when he’s healthy and ready to get back in a race car.”
Josh Berry will drive the No. 9 Chevrolet in Sunday’s Cup race in Las Vegas.
Berry acknowledged he will need to adjust to driving the new car, but he did manage to win two Xfinity Series races on the track in the past. He said his familiarity with the track should be beneficial.
“I’m going to be learning a new car here in an hour or so, so at least having some success on the track, I think that definitely gives me more confidence in what I’m doing,” Berry said Saturday. “It’s been a wild couple of days. You never know what will happen when you wake up.”
Andrews added that the process has started to get a waiver for Elliot from NASCAR. If the waiver is granted, Elliott would be eligible to compete in the playoffs.
Kyle Busch, a two-time Cup Series champion, said he spoke with Elliott and shared his own experience returning from a broken right leg and left foot at Daytona in 2015.
“Even as good of a support system as I had around me during my injury, there was a time when we were watching the races on Sunday, and you kind of break down and miss being out there and being in your car and having a chance of going out there to compete,” Busch said.
“That’s what we live for and build on our whole lives to have success. Chase is plenty young (27) and, I’m sure, plenty healthy enough that it’s not going to be anything too crazy to go through.”
Elliott’s injury did not happen on the track, but Andrews said Hendrick Motorsports will not change its new policy regarding drivers’ activities away from the track, saying “these guys have to go out and live a life.”
Elliott finished second last week in Fontana, California, in the series’ second race of the season. Elliott was involved in a crash the week before at the Daytona 500.
He is a second-generation driver and the son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott. The Georgia native is NASCAR’s five-time fan-voted most popular driver.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.