The new NASCAR Cup Series champion is ready for a new experience in 2021.
Chase Elliott confirmed Tuesday night that he will make his debut in the Chili Bowl Nationals, which is scheduled for Jan. 11-16 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Elliott discussed the decision in a story from The Athletic.
The Chili Bowl, one of the country’s biggest dirt-track events, regularly attracts drivers from other racing series.
Kyle Larson, who will make his return to NASCAR next season, captured the Golden Driller trophy early this year.
Elliott won’t go in cold turkey, however.
He’ll compete in a two-day midget racing event at Millbridge Speedway (Salisbury, N.C.) on Dec. 12-13 that’s sponsored by CNC tooling brand DIAEDGE, which also backs his Chili Bowl entry.
“Going and testing is one thing, but being around people and knowing how to work guys in traffic is important,” Elliott told The Athletic.
“Anybody who thinks you’re going to show up (at the Chili Bowl) and have a shot at the A-Main on your first stab is stupid.
“I respect it from the outside looking in and realize how much time and effort you have to put in to be good.”
The Chili Bowl becomes another major event on Elliott’s off-season calendar.
He recently confirmed that he will go after his third victory in the Snowball Derby super late model race this December in Pensacola, Florida.
Additionally, Elliott has been rumored for a ride in January’s Rolex 24 sports car race at Daytona International Speedway.
Elliott believes that exposing himself to multiple racing disciplines will only make him better, both on the track and in attracting new support.
“As time goes on in all aspects of racing, being diverse behind the wheel is going to be a good thing,” he said to The Athletic.
“Partners are going to appreciate you being able to go and dabble in different things more.