Chase Elliott will miss the next six weeks or longer after suffering a fractured tibia in a snowboarding accident last week. For the first time, we have received details from Dale Earnhardt Jr. about what Elliott is doing in his absence and how he is handling the situation.
You will not want to miss out on the major details about Elliott’s status below.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. reveals his conversations with Chase Elliott since his leg injury
Earnhardt Jr. understands what it is like to suffer an injury that knocks you out of the race car for several weeks. He missed two weeks during the 2012 season and 18 races during the 2016 season.
Elliott received a similar feeling last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when Josh Berry, a JR Motorsports driver, piloted his No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports. Now, he will have to deal with that for six or more weeks.
Earnhardt Jr. talked on his podcast, The Dale Jr. Download, about Elliott’s situation and even revealed very encouraging words about their text conversations following the serious leg injury.
“I wanna say though, man. I have had very brief text conversations with (Chase Elliott) and from what I can tell, he is handling this like a pro. He is still briefing with the team in the conference calls. He is in direct contact with them all day long, trying to help them still prepare…He understands everything they have been dealing with. From what I can tell man, he is handling it as well as you can possibly handle it.”Dale Earnhardt Jr. reveals converstions with Chase Elliott since his leg injury
Elliott is known to be hard on himself in the past and that is not a bad thing overall. It pushes him harder to not experience a defeat like that again, such as his loss at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last season.
However, it appears like Elliott is truly handling this situation like a professional, as Earnhardt Jr. said during his podcast. Quite frankly, the way he is handling his absence will create a scenario where he should be quick to knock off the rust upon his return.
It would be very easy for Elliott to disengage and focus on himself during his recovery process. As his teammate Alex Bowman said last weekend, it’s a “really uncomfortable situation” because a driver almost feels forgotten since everything continues in NASCAR.
Bowman had to deal with this for five races during the 2022 season after he suffered a concussion. However, what are the exact dates that we could see Elliott back behind the wheel of the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports?
Related: Evaluating if Chase Elliott should receive a waiver following his leg injury in 2023
Deep dive into Chase Elliott’s potential return to NASCAR
Elliott will miss around six weeks after suffering a fractured tibia in his braking leg. This does not include the race that he missed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this past weekend since his rehabilitation did not start until Monday of this week.
If Elliott misses a minimum of six weeks, he would miss Phoenix Raceway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Circuit of the Americas, Richmond Raceway, Bristol Dirt, and Martinsville Speedway.
Some may argue the 27-year-old driver could return earlier at the six-week mark; however, it seems incredibly difficult to see him compete at Martinsville on April 16 for physical reasons.
Therefore, the next possible race would be Talladega Superspeedway on April 23. This brings up the question of whether a superspeedway track is the best style of racing for Elliott to return to after his injury.
On one hand, it would be the least physically demanding race for Elliott but on the other hand, superspeedway racing has the highest risk for violent wrecks. Granted, a driver can wreck hard at any track.
It might be smarter to not risk a violent wreck and let him return at Dover Motor Speedway on April 30. Elliott would miss eight races in this scenario while the other one has him missing seven races.
Elliott’s recovery will likely determine the exact date of his return but since his health and safety are rightfully the top priority in the process, there will be no rush to throw him back into the car.
We’ll see how quickly Elliott can return from his fractured tibia and in the meantime, it will be interesting to see how Berry tackles this massive opportunity for Hendrick Motorsports.