IMSA WeatherTech Championship

Chase Elliott Enjoying Off-Season Full of Racing

By: Ashley McCubbin

After completing a 36-race schedule for the NASCAR Cup Series, most drivers are ready for some time off to relax before everything begins once again in February.

Then there’s Chase Elliott, who took a different approach after securing the championship. It seems he’s been on the throttle ever since, competing in the Snowball Derby, followed by the Carolina Midget Showdown, Chili Bowl, and now the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona this weekend.

“Everything has been great,” he said. “Just been really enjoyed as much time as I could, and then got really busy after that with going to do the Snowball. Then the Holidays really crept into frame quickly there and then right after New Years was right back at it going out to Tulsa, and then coming down here obviously. So it’s been great, got to enjoy it with family and friends around home through the holidays and outside that, it’s been very normal, which has been awesome.

“I’m ready to get back to work, and really excited for this event and hopefully doing some more of it down the road.”

Although it seems fitting everything came together following the title, Elliott says the pieces became to fall in place for some of those events through the summer, after showing interest in the events and finally taking initiative to make it happen.

John Harrelson | Nigel Kinrade Photography

“Last year when this event (24 Hours of Daytona) was going on, I expressed interest and the opportunities worked out through the year and this was put in motion late summer, fall-ish, and just really been broadening my horizons and trying new things, finding new challenges,” he commented. “Don’t take that out of context and think I have the NASCAR thing figured out, because I don’t, but more just to do something different, find something new. I feel I’m still very young and I can still learn new things; I think as you get older, it’ll be a little harder to learn new stuff.

“So I just feel I’m at a point in my life that these opportunities are here and I’m fortunate for them, but at the same time, I’m still young enough to learn new stuff as I can learn and adapt and become competitive with the right amount of effort. That’s where I’m at with trying to do all this stuff.”

While everything has been fun to compete in so far, it also has everyone wondering what else could be up his sleeve in the future to knock off the bucket list.

“I don’t know,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “I really haven’t gotten that far yet. I’ve got my hands so full with what I’ve got going on now that I better cool it. I’ve been having a lot of fun, but I have a lot to learn. The Chili Bowl was a blast – I would love to go back out there and give it another shot.

“I hope this isn’t my last shot down here; I’d love to come down here and do this again. I don’t think it’s an event that you show up to do one-time and expect to be perfect, or at the very best of your game. I think it takes a little more practice than that. I’d love to continue winters like this if the right opportunities present themselves and we’ll see.

“But as far as other stuff, I don’t know. We’ll cross that bridge down the road but having a lot of fun right now, for sure.”

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