Action Express Racing announced Friday morning (Dec. 18) that 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott will make his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. He will be the fourth driver in the Whelen Engineering-sponsored No. 31 Cadillac DPi-V.R. alongside Mike Conway, Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr.
“The Rolex 24 is such a major event, and it’s a race that anybody across any type of motorsports really respects,” Elliott said in a press release. “I think everyone wants to win a watch before their career is over. It’s something different and a completely different element of racing that I haven’t really tried before. I’m trying to branch out and be more diverse as a driver and this is another part of that experience. I appreciate Action Express giving me this opportunity and I am looking forward to learning and running my first Rolex 24 next month.”
In his NASCAR Cup Series career, Elliott has shown significant strength on road courses. In 12 career Cup starts on road courses, he has five career victories (two at Watkins Glen, two at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s ROVAL and one on Daytona’s road course). He has six top five finishes, eight top 10 finishes and a career average finish of 8.9. Much like his father Bill, Chase’s first career Cup victory came on a road course (Watkins Glen in 2018). His reputation on road courses has been that of a quick study. So far, he has not disproven that.
“Recently we were able to spend a day with Chase in the simulator, running the Dallara, Cadillac model on the Daytona road course,” said Gary Nelson, team manager at Action Express Racing. “We were amazed at how quick Chase got up to speed, his feedback, and how easy he was to work with. We are very excited to work with him again next month in Daytona at the ROAR and the Rolex 24.”
Of the 54 drivers that competed in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020, 12 of them have competed in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the past. They are Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Michael McDowell, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson, Brendan Gaughan, James Davison, Timmy Hill and Kaz Grala. Of that group, only one has an overall victory. That was Larson, who pulled off the feat in 2015 with Chip Ganassi Racing.