Chase Elliott is set to return to Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 9 Chevrolet for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway, having recovered from the fractured tibia he suffered while snowboarding on March 3. Elliott underwent surgery to repair his leg fracture in Vail, Colo., and rehabilitated in the state before returning to his home in Dawsonville, Ga., in late March to continue physical therapy.
After being medically cleared Tuesday, Elliott tested Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning in the Chevrolet Driver-in-the-Loop simulator in Concord, N.C., before making the final decision to return at Martinsville.
“We’re looking forward to having Chase back in his race car to pick up where he left off,” said team owner Rick Hendrick. “Since the injury, he’s worked extremely hard and focused all his time and energy on returning to the No. 9 team. Throughout the last six weeks, he’s stayed fully engaged with everything we’re doing, and we know he’s chomping at the bit to get on the racetrack and compete for wins.”
Josh Berry has filled in for Elliott in five of the last six Cup Series events with a best finish of second, which came at Richmond Raceway. Jordan Taylor drove the No. 9 Chevrolet at Circuit of The Americas, starting fourth and finishing 24th in his Cup debut.
“Having such high-caliber drivers available was a huge benefit, especially under difficult circumstances,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “Josh and Jordan each brought a tremendous amount of professionalism to our team, and we’re truly grateful for their contributions. Their preparation and talent made a big difference. We can’t overstate it.”
Hendrick Motorsports has received a waiver from NASCAR to allow Elliott to be eligible for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.