CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — With Chase Elliott expected to miss about six weeks with a broken left leg, Hendrick Motorsports will turn to Josh Berry and sports car racer Jordan Taylor to fill in for NASCAR’s most popular driver.
Hendrick provided a timetable for Elliott’s recovery Tuesday while saying Berry will continue to drive the No. 9 Chevrolet on ovals and Taylor will make his Cup Series debut on the road course at Circuit of the America’s in Texas later this month.
Berry will be behind the wheel Sunday when NASCAR runs at Phoenix Raceway.
Elliott fractured his tibia snowboarding in Colorado last week and was released from the hospital the following day after a three-hour surgery. The 2020 Cup Series champion is currently rehabilitating in Colorado.
Hendrick general manager Jeff Andrews said the team has begun the process for attaining a NASCAR waiver that would allow Elliott to be eligible for this season’s playoffs. Waivers have been granted to other drivers for various circumstances, including injuries.
In the meantime, Berry and Taylor will continue collecting points for the team. Berry finished 29th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday.
Berry drives for Hendrick affiliate JR Motorsports and is a five-time race winner in the lower-division Xfinity Series.
Taylor currently competes in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for Corvette Racing. He also serves as Hendrick’s “driver coach” for William Byron and others in hopes of helping them better navigate road courses. He’s taken on a similar role for NASCAR’s Garage 56 project, which will run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June in France.
The 31-year-old Taylor has competed at Road American multiple times, including two wins in four IMSA appearances.