Weeks after Kyle Busch finished fourth in his Nitro Rallycross début, another NASCAR Cup Series champion has thrown his hat into the ring. On Tuesday, NRX announced Chase Elliott will make his maiden rallycross start in the season finale at Florida International Rally and Motorsports Park on 4/5 December. He will drive the ZipRecruiter #GoNitro car that Busch piloted.
Elliott is a household name in NASCAR, having won the 2020 Cup championship and the Most Popular Driver Award in every year of NASCAR national series full-time competition. In 2021, he scored two wins and reached the Championship Round before finishing fourth in points.
While Elliott almost exclusively competed in stock cars, his schedule began to diversify in 2021 as he began competing in other disciplines. In January, he ran the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona for the first time, finishing sixth in the DPi class and eighth overall, followed by winning his lone Superstar Racing Experience start at the Nashville Fairgrounds in July. Elliott has also started dabbling in sprint cars and the USAC National Midget Championship.
It goes without saying that rallycross will be quite a different experience for Elliott. While he is the top Cup driver on road courses with seven of his thirteen career wins coming on such tracks, it will obviously take a bit more than prowess in turning left and right to succeed. Nevertheless, he expressed much interest in taking part, including posting on Instagram that he needed “to get in on this!!!”. When NRX founder Travis Pastrana visited the Cup race at Martinsville, he recruited Elliott to take part.
Busch scored a fourth-place finish in his first NRX start at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in mid-November. The following week at Glen Helen Raceway, the ZipRecruiter car was filled by FIA World Rallycross Championship ace Andreas Bakkerud who finished third. Both races were won by Pastrana, a former NASCAR full-timer.
Other drivers in NRX with NASCAR experience include Steve Arpin, who sits fifth in points, and Sage Karam, who has three victories in the NEXT class.