NASCAR Champ Chase Elliott’s Team Bags Rolex 24 Pole Position, Jimmie Johnson to Start in 6th Place

Published 01/25/2021, 7:45 AM EST
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)


Some former and current NASCAR drivers are investing efforts in preparing for all the exclusive and famous Rolex 24 at Daytona event. Among the list of them, Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson headlined the racing spectacle with their respective teams.

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With just under five days to go for the event, qualifying ensued across the five sports car classes. While Elliott’s team secured pole position with its No.31 Cadillac, Johnson will start the race in sixth with the No.48 Ally Cadillac DPi car.

Following the session, Johnson stated, “I’m very thankful that the team put me in this position to start the race and qualify the Ally Cadillac. It put me in some positions I hadn’t been in before.”

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Jimmie Johnson drove alongside Kamui Kobayashi in an attempt to secure pole position in the DPi class

“It allowed me to understand the prerace procedures like fuel mapping pages, warming the tires up under caution, keep the carbon brakes hot, and things you mess with in the car.”

Johnson reportedly drove for a total of 67 minutes, notching in a fast lap of 1:38.103. In his eighth attempt at a Rolex 24 crown, he certainly made a decent impact in the qualifying session of the race.

He continued, “All of that while it is raining. To be running in the rain and to understand the tires, the spray from the other cars and then transition to dry with slicks and getting them up to temperature.”

Johnson and Chase Elliott will have their eyes on winning their first-ever Rolex 24 prize

“I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be, but I stayed on the road and had a lot of valuable first-time experiences, which was really helpful,” concluded Johnson.

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)

Incidentally, both NASCAR superstars would be pitting their racing wits to win their first-ever title in the IMSA sportscar event. This is Elliott’s debut foray into the competition, and his team has already made the perfect start by attaining pole position.

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But the Rolex 24 is an endurance event at the end of it all, and the finish matters more than the start.

Thus, building on this, the narrative to follow will certainly be interesting as to whose team will ultimately come out on top – Johnson or Elliott?

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MORE – Jeff Gordon vs Jimmie Johnson – Who Would Hold the NASCAR 7x Records Without the Playoff System?

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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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