NASCAR Superstar Chase Elliott Could Be Eliminated From Championship Contention After Gruesome Injury

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Chase Elliott isn’t just one of the most popular drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series. He is the most popular driver.

Elliott, who is the son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott, has been voted the sports most popular driver each of the last five season.

But he’s not just popular. He’s also really, really good. The 27-year-old already has 17 career wins and won his first career championship in the 2020 season.

The years since, however, haven’t exactly gone according to plan. Elliott suffered a championship hangover of sorts in 2021, winning just two races while Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson went on to claim his first championship.

Elliott nicely in 2022. He tied a career-high with five race victories in the season and took the top seed into the series’ playoffs. But he struggled in the playoffs, only making the championship race on the strength of his regular season performance, which provided him with bonuses.

He then finished the championship race in Phoenix fourth out of the four drivers still alive to compete for a championship.

A new year, however, provided new hope that Elliot could claim a second championship.

After a difficult showing at the Daytona 500 that saw him finish 38th out of 40 cars following a early crash, he rebounded nicely to finish second in the second race of the season at Fontana Speedway.

That result was supposed to set the tone for the rest of the year. But now that may not be the case.

Elliott underwent surgery on Friday night after suffering a leg injury while snowboarding. Hendrick Motorsports stated Saturday that there is no timeline for his return.

“At this point in time, we would expect this obviously to be several weeks,” Andrews said. “But beyond that, I don’t have a timeline to offer for you. We will obviously work with Chase and his doctors in the future to help determine that. But again, I just can’t reiterate enough that for Mr. Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports, the most important thing is Chase’s health and his well-being. We will work with him on that timeline.” – via

NASCAR rules state that a driver must participate in each race in order to be playoff eligible. But the series has granted waivers in the pass in the case of injury.

Most notably, Kyle Busch won the 2015 series championship after missing 11 races following an accident which led to a broken leg.

Elliott’s injury happened away from the sport, so that may well be a point of contention. Though it’s hard to imagine the series electing to eliminate its most popular driver.