NASCAR Champ Chase Elliott Plans to ‘Lean On’ Jimmie Johnson Once Again in Rolex 24 at Daytona Debut

Published 01/22/2021, 7:00 AM EST
LONG POND, PA – JUNE 01: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet, talk in the garage during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)


Chase Elliott gets ready to make his final pit-stop in off-season racing, ahead of his NASCAR Cup Series title defense. Elliott makes his Rolex 24 at Daytona debut and explores another form of racing in the process. This time, he has the additional backing of none other than his mentor and friend, Jimmie Johnson.

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Elliott had the opportunity to learn more about dirt racing from another top-class driver Kyle Larson, over the past few weeks. Now, heading into the Rolex 24, he hopes to pick Johnson’s brain, his former teammate of so many years at Hendrick Motorsports.

While both Elliott and Johnson will drive different cars with different groups of teammates, they are part of the same team – Action Express Racing – for the prestigious event. Elliott is excited to have Johnson back in his corner.

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FORT WORTH, TEXAS – OCTOBER 28: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Hooters Give a Hoot Chevrolet, enters his car to start the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson meet again at Daytona

He plans to lean on Johnson a lot over the next few days. The debutant will benefit a lot from the inputs by Johnson. The 45-year-old has a decent amount of Rolex 24 experience, with seven appearances in the past.

Jimmie and I aren’t sharing a car, but we’ll be on the same team and (I’m) going to lean on him, for sure, as we get in there. I think he’s had a chance to run to this point, whereas I haven’t,” Elliott expressed recently.

Elliott has, on many occasions in the past, talked about Johnson’s influence on his career. The seven-time NASCAR champion has been a great guide to the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion, Elliott, who will be excited to have another chance of learning from Johnson.

HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 20: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, poses for a portrait after winning the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Elliott makes his debut in the biggest race there is

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Over the next week or so, he will certainly need all the advice and inputs he can get. The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is one of the biggest challenges in motorsports. Star racers of various disciplines participate in the prestigious event.

Chase Elliott also spoke about the importance of participating in the Rolex 24. He aims to win the iconic Rolex ‘watch’ someday.

The Rolex is a major race, and I think a race that anybody across any type of motorsports really respects. I think everybody wants a watch before their career’s over. I think it’s a great event,” Elliott added.

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Both Elliott and Jimmie Johnson will be part of the qualifying and testing weekend, ahead of the January 30-31 main event. Elliott and his team enter the qualifying event this Sunday.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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