By David Morgan, Associate Editor
While Chase Elliott is on the mend from his leg injury sustained in a snowboarding accident last week, Hendrick Motorsports has made their plans for which drivers will pilot the team’s No. 9 entry in the weeks ahead.
Hendrick officials noted that they expect Elliott to be out for the next six weeks, as his rehab continues in Colorado, and their plan is for two drivers will take over driving duties in the meantime.
After his run at Las Vegas last Sunday, Josh Berry will continue to drive on the oval tracks that are ahead on the schedule, running double-duty between the Hendrick Cup car and his regular ride with JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
If the six week timeline holds true, Berry should be in the car at Phoenix this weekend, along with races at Atlanta, Richmond, Bristol Dirt, and Martinsville.
For the upcoming road course race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin on March 26, road racing ace Jordan Taylor will make his Cup Series debut for the team.
Taylor currently drives for Corvette Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and also serves as the driving coach for the NASCAR Garage 56 program, which has retrofitted a Next Gen car into an entry to compete at Le Mans this summer.
Among Taylor’s sports car accolades, the 31-year old has captured wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 2017 IMSA Prototype championship, and two wins at COTA in 2016 and 2017.
“We’re focused on getting Chase back to 100%, so we’ll take however much time is necessary and make sure he has the best resources available,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports.
“Josh was impressive this weekend under difficult circumstances, and we look forward to having him drive the oval tracks until Chase is able to return. Jordan is a world-class road racer and has recently been working with our Garage 56 team preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He’ll be able to step in and do a great job at COTA.”