Dale Earnhardt Jr. shared his thoughts on whether Chase Elliott should have been snowboarding.
Hendrick Motorsports announced on March 4th that Elliott would not compete in the then upcoming race at Las Vegas Speedway due to a leg injury.
The team revealed, Elliott suffered an “injury to his left leg today while snowboarding in Colorado. He is scheduled to undergo surgery this evening.”
In an update later that day, Hendrick Motorsports revealed “Elliott underwent a successful surgery on a fractured tibia on Friday night.”
They added, “Elliott is doing well following the three-hour surgery and is expected to be released from the hospital later today.”
Hendrick Motorsports Team President and General Manager Jeff Andrews went on relay that Elliott is out indefinitely, “There is no timeline at this point. We would expect this to obviously be several weeks but beyond that, I don’t have a timeline to offer for you. We will work with Chase and his doctors in the future to help determine that.”
Andrews added, “For Mr. Hendrick and Hendrick Motorsports, the most important thing is Chase’s health and his well-being. We’ll work with him on that timeline. We are going to race a long time together with Chase Elliott and we are going to win a lot more races together. Certainly, this is a little bit of a setback and Chase is very disappointed. We’ll have a seat ready for him when he is healthy and ready to get back in a race car.”
Jr. discussed Elliott’s injury and whether or not he should have been snowboarding during a recent episode of his Dale Jr. Download.
He began the segment saying, “I think that the responsibility of the risks a driver takes outside of his role is his choice or her choice. If you want to go do things, go do things. And you assume that risk.”
He continued, “And hopefully somebody in your camp’s going, ‘Look man, I know you want to do this. Here’s what you’re getting paid by the Cup team. Here is the insurance coverage that we have that would handle any kind of injury or worse. If there’s an injury that limits you for a couple weeks this is the repercussions. If there’s an injury that knocks you out of driving a race car entirely, here is the repercussions.”
“So, hopefully, there is somebody that’s letting this driver know these are all things that get triggered when certain dominoes fall. As long as you have that information and understand all of those repercussions go do whatever you want to do,” he asserted.
After detailing a personal experience about a family ski trip to Aspen, Jr. said, “That’s a personal choice and always should be a personal choice.”
He then reiterated, “So, hopefully, there’s people that are around each driver that they have all that information that they need. If you get injured today here’s what happens. Now, do you want to go do the thing? If you do, go do it, but just know going forward that’s the risk you take. I think that’s fair enough.”
Jr. would reiterate his opinion again later in the segment, “I think that Chase should be able to go out there and do what he wants. He’ll get this thing healed up. He’ll come back strong.”
“I think that Chase really as unfortunate as this is, i think that when we look back on Chase’s career, I have a feeling that this is going to have a positive impact on his appreciation for his job, how could it not? You get something taken from you that you love so much. He’s going to come back hungrier, more determined. He will probably really appreciate the opportunity more than he ever did. So I think that he will be a much better race car driver when he comes back,” he asserted.
What do you make of Jr.’s opinion? Do you think Elliott should have been snowboarding?