Chase Elliott is out indefinitely due to an injury to his left leg following a snowboarding accident

LAS VEGAS – Chase Elliott, NASCAR’s most popular driver and 2020 Cup Series champion, will be out for an indefinite amount of time after injuring his left leg while snowboarding in Colorado, Hendrick Motorsports announced Friday afternoon.

Elliott is scheduled to have surgery Friday night. Meanwhile, JR Motorsports Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry will race in Elliott’s place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.

Elliott finished second at Auto Club Speedway last week and has expressed optimism about the start to his season. Although an injury would be a setback, NASCAR rules make it relatively easy for Elliott to still make the playoffs.

Elliott will almost certainly get a medical exemption once a team requests it, so if he wins a race before the regular season ends in late August, he’ll still be eligible for a playoff game. There was previously a stipulation that drivers must also be in the top 30 in points, but this policy was removed in the off-season.

Vegas will mark the first missed race of Elliott’s full-time career, a streak of 254 consecutive races dating back to the beginning of 2016.

“Chase’s health is our primary concern,” said Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick. “He has spoken with several members of our team and is understandably disappointed to waste time in the car. Of course, he has our full support, and will provide whatever resources he needs. We hope to share another update later this weekend.”

Several drivers chose to stay out West during the three-race “West Coast Swing” which includes stops in Southern California, Vegas and Phoenix. Elliott and his family have a long history in Colorado, where they have a vacation home near Vail.

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(Photo: Mark J. Rebellas/USA Today)

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