Chase Elliott vows to continue snowboarding after his accident

Chase Elliott vows to continue snowboarding after his accident

News agencyApril 13, 2023 at 02:00 PM ET2 min read

Chase Elliott won’t stop snowboarding or participating in any of the other off-track activities he enjoys, even after an accident in Colorado sidelined NASCAR’s most popular driver with a broken leg.

Elliott will return this weekend to Martinsville Speedway after missing six Cup races due to a broken left leg suffered in a snowboarding accident on March 3.

“I wasn’t doing anything that was wild or crazy,” said Elliott, an experienced skateboarder. “I don’t have a great story to tell. It was just this perfect storm that could happen at any time.”

The 27-year-old underwent surgery on the night of the accident and revealed on Thursday that he still has screws in his leg near his left knee.

His accident raised questions about team owner Rick Hendrick’s recent desire to allow his drivers to participate in extracurricular activities — something that would normally be prohibited by the owner of a winning NASCAR team, even though Hendrick’s rules primarily relate to racing outside of NASCAR.

NASCAR granted Elliott, the 2020 Cup champion who has competed in the title-clinching finals the past three years, a waiver to qualify for the playoffs. But he will definitely need to win at least one race to overcome his injury deficit.

However, he said that he will continue his off-track activities and that he considers snowboarding part of his fitness regime.

“I feel like you should enjoy your life and do nice things… escape from this every week,” Elliott said. “There is a lot that goes into racing and I think you have to have that way to escape and give your mind a break.

“The accident could have happened while tripping down the stairs or while running. Snowboarding is something I’ve been doing for a long time. I’m comfortable doing it. It’s one of those things I’ve used as a training tool over the years — no different than cycling.” ”

Elliott said he knew “very quickly” he was seriously injured and spoke with his team while in the emergency room. He immediately asked the team to obtain a replacement driver.

“I knew my knee was messed up. I definitely knew it wasn’t right and I was probably going to have to have surgery,” Elliott said.

He said doctors told him the integrity of the bones was fine and he was not in danger of further injury.

Josh Berry, who drove five of the six races Elliott missed in the No. 9 Chevrolet, will be on hand at the Virginia short track for Elliott’s comfort level in the car.

Elliott is a one-time winner at Martinsville in 15 career starts.

“I wouldn’t be going this weekend if I didn’t feel like I could do it,” Elliott said.

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