Brand-new NASCAR Cup champion Chase Elliott and seven-time Cup title winner Jimmie Johnson will participate in January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. Their team owner, Rick Hendrick, revealed the news in Phoenix where Elliott drove the No. 9 Chevy to the race and championship win on the one-mile oval.
“Both of our guys, Chase and Jimmie, will be in the 24‑hour race, so I’m looking forward to that,” said Hendrick, the former IMSA GTP entrant. “Maybe I jumped the gun on that. I’m not 100 percent sure. I heard a rumor, okay, so I can’t confirm that.”
As RACER wrote last week, Action Express Racing is believed to be the destination for the NASCAR duo.
Elliott, who has taken command of the road races on the Cup schedule in recent years, will make his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut at the January 30-31 season opener. The 24-yer-old Georgia native has been mentioned as a candidate to join the 2018 title-winning No. 31 Whelen Engineering AXR Cadillac DPi-V.R led by Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani.
For Johnson, who retired from full-time NASCAR racing at the conclusion of the Phoenix race, the Rolex 24 was once a familiar part of his pre-season preparations. With eight starts at the Daytona enduro and a pair of second-place finishes to his credit, his return to IMSA’s longest race could come in a second AXR Cadillac. Johnson’s name has been listed among a few high-profile guest stars to pilot the 5.5-liter V8-powered prototype.