Chase Elliott to miss Las Vegas race after suffering left leg injury while snowboarding

The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion will undergo surgery for the injury

DAYTONA, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet) watches his crew work on his racecar during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 on February 17, 2023 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL. (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott will miss at least one NASCAR Cup Series race after suffering a leg injury while snowboarding. (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Chase Elliott won’t compete in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after suffering a leg injury in a snowboarding incident.

Hendrick Motorsports said the 2020 Cup Series champion would undergo surgery Friday evening. Elliott suffered the injury Friday, just two days before he was scheduled to compete in the race and just one day before practice and qualifying.

“Chase’s health is our primary concern,” Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick 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. We hope to share another update later this weekend.”

Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry is set to replace Elliott in the No. 9 car. Given that Elliott is undergoing surgery for the injury, it seems very possible he could miss more than one race. Kyle Busch said Saturday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that he expected Elliott to miss at least a month.

Elliott was in Colorado when he was injured. NASCAR is in the midst of a three-race swing in the western part of the United States with races in California, Nevada and Arizona.

Elliott finished 38th in the season-opening Daytona 500 thanks to a crash and then finished second at Auto Club Speedway in the second race of the season.

NASCAR’s most popular driver has finished fourth in the points standings in each of the past two seasons and will likely have an opportunity to make the postseason again in 2023 even if he misses significant time during the regular season. Elliott would need to win a regular season race to qualify for the postseason on the likely assumption that NASCAR grants him a playoff waiver.

Busch famously won his first Cup Series title in 2015 after missing the first 11 races of the season because of a broken leg he suffered in the season-opening Xfinity Series race. Busch won multiple times after returning to the cockpit to qualify for the playoffs and then won the final race of the season to win the title.