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Elliott suffered a fractured tibia in his left leg due to a snowboarding accident in Colorado last week. The team said in a statement on Tuesday that the 27-year-old is expected to be out for six weeks.
Josh Berry, a JR Motorsports driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, drove the car last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He finished 29th, and will continue to pilot the car on ovals. NASCAR now heads to Phoenix Raceway to conclude the west coast swing.
However, at Circuit of the Americas on March 26th, accomplished sports car racer Jordan Taylor will get behind the wheel of the car. It will be his NASCAR Cup debut.
Taylor, who is assisting with the Hendrick-prepared Garage 56 NASCAR program at Le Mans this year, competes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for Corvette Racing. He’s a three-time winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona (including twice overall), and also claimed a class victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015.
“We’re focused on getting Chase back to 100%, so we’ll take however much time is necessary and make sure he has the best resources available,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Josh was impressive this weekend under difficult circumstances, and we look forward to having him drive the oval tracks until Chase is able to return. Jordan is a world-class road racer and has recently been working with our Garage 56 team preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He’ll be able to step in and do a great job at COTA.”
Elliott started the year with a DNF in the Daytona 500, but quickly rebounded with a runner-up finish at Auto Club Speedway. Although he may be on the sidelines, the No. 9 car is still in the hunt for owner’s points.