When 2021 kicks off, the NASCAR Cup Series drivers will be hard at work preparing for the new season. Among them is reigning champion Chase Elliott, who is not resting on his laurels.
The newly crowned champion is already itching to defend his crown, so he is trying to get some practice in. Owing to this, he is set to make his Chili Bowl Nationals debut in January 2021.
The 24-year-old confirmed his 2021 pre-NASCAR plans on Twitter. As it turns out, he will drive a #9 car with DiaEdge as his sponsor.
Admittedly, this isn’t the first time that Elliott has attended the Chili Bowl, having been a spectator last year. This time, he wants a piece of the action at the Tulsa Expo Raceway.
“Enjoyed the heck out of my first Chili Bowl experience, an amazing event I finally got to see in person,” he tweeted. Chase Elliott even congratulated Kyle Larson who won it for the first time. To make matters even better, he and Larson will be teammates at Hendrick Motorsports next season.
It is worth mentioning that there may be a little bit of pressure on Chase Elliott. This is mostly for the sake of pride, as Cup Series drivers have triumphed at the Chili Bowl in the last four years.
Prior to Larson’s win in 2020, Christopher Bell reached Victory Lane for three consecutive years, from 2017 to 2019. In other words, if Chase Elliott wants the Cup drivers to keep up their streak, he needs to step up to the plate.
In last year’s race, Chase Briscoe joined Bell and Larson on the Chili Bowl grid. Aside from them, other NASCAR drivers included Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Ryan Newman, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and JJ Yeley. Now, Chase Elliott is set to join that club very soon, and he will be eager to start the year with a win.