NASCAR Champ Chase Elliott Keen to ‘Challenge Himself’ With Major Events Like Rolex 24, Chili Bowl

Published 01/22/2021, 8:30 AM EST
WATKINS GLEN, NY – AUGUST 05: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 SunEnergy1 Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series GoBowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)


Chase Elliott has been spending the NASCAR off-season doing a variety of things. The 2020 Cup Series champion very recently also entered to compete in his first-ever Chili Bowl tournament.

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Participating in various types of racing tournaments gives Elliott exposure to improving his racecraft. Speaking in an interview, he touches upon the concept of being a versatile driver whilst working forward to improve in NASCAR.

Elliott stated, “Honestly think it’s a little bit of both. I mean to me, being diverse behind the wheel is a great thing. I think that applies in anything you do.”

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Right time and right people key to venturing into different racing events, believes Chase Elliott

“The right opportunities came about on a few different fronts this winter. With the Snowball Derby, the Chili Bowl, and then this. I just felt like it was the right time to step out of the box.”

The Hendrick Motorsports No.9 had also raced in the renowned Snowball Derby and relished his experience of racing on the short tracks. He believes that NASCAR has given him the chance to push onto doing other things and exploring new challenges.

FORT WORTH, TX – APRIL 04: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning his parents Cindy (L) and Bill (R) the NASCAR Nationwide Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

He continued, “I felt like it was the right time before the championship. This was all kind of put in motion before that. But I still thought it was the right time, right people, and the right group to go and venture out.”

Elliott’s main goal for the 2021 racing season would be to retain the Cup Series title

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“The NASCAR thing is great, love it there. But it’s also allowed me to have a platform to come and do stuff like this. I think as a racecar driver, it’s important to go do those things and challenge yourself,” concluded Elliott on the subject.

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 08: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and his crew chief Alan Gustafson pose for a photo after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Season Finale 500 and the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Despite the racing season bringing much more opportunities, his ultimate focus would still be on defending the Cup Series title he so brilliantly won in 2020. In addition, he would want to start off the campaign on a firm note by winning a few races earlier on.

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Elliott now heads to race in the Rolex 24 at Daytona event next week. Undoubtedly, he will ensure that he continues to drive with the right enthusiasm and motivation in every event that he participates in this year.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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