Chase Elliott Will Miss Races With a Leg Injury

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Chase Elliott Will Miss Races With Leg InjuryJames Gilbert - Getty Images

Chase Elliott, 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion and perennial most popular driver award winner, injured his leg in a snowboarding accident yesterday. He will miss this week's upcoming race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and is expected to miss several more races afterward. Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry has been named as his injury replacement in the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports car.

Elliott fractured his tibia in the accident, resulting in a surgery that reportedly lasted three hours.

Kyle Busch won the 2015 championship after missing time with a broken leg and fractured ankle, which he hurt in a crash during the Xfinity Series support race before the season-opening Daytona 500. Busch's injuries were seemingly more extensive, but he missed 11 races that season. He eventually won four times in the regular season, entering the top 30 in points and qualifying for the playoffs on the back of his wins. The rule requiring a finish in the top 30 to qualify on wins was recently abolished; if he is granted a waiver for missing races, Elliott would be able to make the playoff with any regular season win over the remaining events this Summer. Hendrick Motorsports has already applied for the waiver he would need to remain playoff-eligible, but NASCAR is not expected to rule on that until Elliott returns to the car.

Until Elliott is able to return, Josh Berry will be given the biggest opportunity of his career to date. Berry, a former Late Model star who had run part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the Hendrick-affiliated JR Motorsports since 2014, won his first race in the series back in 2021. That earned him a full-time ride for 2022, and he has won three more races over the past two years. Sunday will mark Berry's third Cup Series start, but his first-ever with a competitive team.

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