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NASCAR Champion Elliott Joins Action Express for Daytona

Newly-crowned NASCAR Cup champion Chase Elliott to drive AXR Cadillac at Daytona…

Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR

Action Express Racing has confirmed that NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott will drive its No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Elliott, who clinched his maiden Cup Series title this year, will share driving duties with Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani and FIA World Endurance champion Mike Conway.

The 25-year-old sports car racing rookie is the second NASCAR champion to be confirmed as part of Action Express Racing’s two-car setup for the opening round of the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson was announced earlier this month as part of the team’s No. 48 Cadillac DPi lineup alongside Simon Pagenaud, Mike Rockenfeller and defending Daytona winner Kamui Kobayashi.

“The Rolex 24 is such a major event, and it’s a race that anybody across any type of motorsports really respects,” said Elliott.

“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 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.”

Elliott’s presence on the Rolex 24 grid was revealed last month by Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick, who told reporters after the NASCAR Cup season finale at Phoenix that both Elliott and Johnson were set for IMSA drives at Daytona.

Both drivers are affiliated with Chevrolet, which like Cadillac comes under the General Motors group.

“Recently we were able to spend a day with Chase in the simulator, running the Dallara, Cadillac model on the Daytona road course,” said Action Express team manager Gary Nelson.

“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.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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