Chase Elliott will make Rolex 24 at Daytona debut with Action Express’ No. 31 Cadillac

Chase Elliott Rolex 24 debut
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Chase Elliott officially was announced Friday as making his debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona next month, driving for Action Express Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener for 2021.

The reigning champion of the NASCAR Cup Series will be teamed with Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani and Mike Conway in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R for the 24-hour race Jan. 30-31.

Elliott, 25, already is a winner on the road course at Daytona International Speedway, having won the inaugural race for NASCAR’s premier series on the infield layout last Aug. 16. The Hendrick Motorsports driver has five Cup victories on road courses, including a streak of four consecutive dating to August 2019 at Watkins Glen International.

It’s the second NASCAR champion in the Rolex 24 for Action Express, which will have Jimmie Johnson in a second Cadillac with Simon Pagenaud, Kamui Kobayashi and Mike Rockenfeller.

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

Since capturing his first Cup championship last month by winning the 2020 finale at Phoenix Raceway, Elliott hardly has slowed down.

He finished third Dec. 6 at the 53rd annual Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Florida. In his midget debut last weekend in preparation for next month’s Chili Bowl, Elliott finished in the top five of both feature races at Millbridge Speedway.

“I’m trying to branch out and be more diverse as a driver, and (the Rolex 24) is another part of that experience,” Elliott said. “I appreciate Action Express giving me this opportunity, and I am looking forward to learning and running my first Rolex 24 next month.”

Action Express team manager Gary Nelson said Elliott had been impressive during a recent test day on the Daytona road course in the GM simulator.

“We were amazed at how quick Chase got up to speed, his feedback, and how easy he was to work with,” Nelson said in a release. “We are very excited to work with him again next month in Daytona at the Roar and the Rolex 24.”

Elliott will join Action Express and the rest of IMSA’s teams at Daytona Jan. 22-24 for the Roar Before the 24 test session, which will conclude with a qualifying race that will set the lineup for the Rolex 24.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.