SPORTS: NASCAR driver Chase Elliott out after fracturing tibia.


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Chase Elliott, a driver for Hendrick Motorsports, sustained a fractured tibia in his left leg while snowboarding in Colorado on Friday, according to officials from the team. He underwent a successful three-hour surgery on Friday evening, but there is currently no indication of when he will be able to return to racing.

Jeff Andrews, the team’s president and general manager, emphasized that Elliott’s health and well-being are the top priority for Hendrick Motorsports. He added that the team will work with Elliott on a timeline for his recovery.

In the meantime, Josh Berry, a driver for JR Motorsports, will replace Elliott in the No. 9 Chevrolet for Sunday’s race. Berry has won five Xfinity Series races over the past two seasons.

THE SCIENCE: The tibia is one of the two long bones in the lower leg, with the other being the fibula. It is a weight-bearing bone that helps support the body's weight and is an important component of the knee joint. The tibia also plays a crucial role in the movement and mobility of the leg, allowing for bending and straightening of the knee and ankle joints. A fracture of the tibia can be a serious injury that can limit mobility and require a significant amount of time to heal.

The time it takes for a fractured tibia to heal can vary depending on the severity and location of the fracture, as well as the age and overall health of the patient. In general, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months for a fractured tibia to heal completely. During this time, the patient may need to use crutches, wear a brace or cast, and avoid putting weight on the affected leg to allow the bone to heal properly. Rehabilitation exercises may also be necessary to regain strength and mobility in the affected leg once the bone has healed.

Elliott’s absence from the race marks the first time in his career that he will miss a race due to injury. He had started 254 consecutive races dating back to his rookie year in 2016. Hendrick Motorsports has applied for a medical waiver to ensure that Elliott remains eligible for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs when he returns.

Elliott is a full-time driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, where he races the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Hendrick Motorsports. He also competes part-time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, driving the No. 35 Chevrolet Silverado for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing.

In 2014, Elliott won the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship, becoming the youngest champion in the series’ history and the first rookie to win a national series championship in NASCAR.

Since starting his full-time Cup Series career in 2016, Elliott has been named the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year and won 18 races, including seven on road courses. He won the Cup Series championship in 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona, marking Hendrick Motorsports’ first championship win since 2016.

Elliott’s father is Bill Elliott, the 1988 Winston Cup Series champion. The Elliotts are part of a small group of father-son duos who have both won NASCAR championships, including Lee and Richard Petty and Ned and Dale Jarrett.

WORDS: Scientific Inquirer Staff.

IMAGE: Zach Catanzareti Photo.

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IMAGE CREDIT: Steffen Flor.

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