Chase Elliott will return to driver’s seat at Martinsville this weekend
Chase Elliott will return to the driver’s seat of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series activity at Martinsville Speedway.
Elliott suffered a fractured leg while snowboarding March 3 and has missed six Cup races. He underwent surgery and has been through a rehabilitation process.
Hendrick Motorsports said Elliott was medically cleared to drive Tuesday. He tested in the Chevrolet simulator Tuesday and Wednesday, and the team decided Wednesday he can compete this weekend.
“We’re looking forward to having Chase back in his race car to pick up where he left off,” team owner Rick Hendrick stated in a release by the team. “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.”
Although Elliott could be limited by the leg issue at Martinsville, he and Hendrick have good history there. Hendrick Motorsports has scored 27 Martinsville victories, the most ever by a team at a single track. Elliott finished 10th in both Martinsville races last year, and his six stage wins at the track lead all other drivers. He won the fall 2020 race at Martinsville.
During Elliott’s absence, Josh Berry filled in for five of the six races, and Jordan Taylor replaced Elliott at Circuit of the Americas.
“Having such high-caliber drivers available was a huge benefit, especially under difficult circumstances,” said Hendrick Motorsports president Jeff Andrews. “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.”
Elliott remains eligible for the Cup playoffs. He received a waiver from NASCAR.