NASCAR’s Chase Elliott makes rallycross debut at Nitro RX finale

Colin
By Colin Wood
Dec 6, 2021 | rallycross, Nitro Rallycross

Photography by Colin Wood

Can NASCAR drivers make right turns? As it turns out, they can land some pretty sweet rallycross jumps, too.

The inaugural Nitro Rallycross Championship had its season finale this past weekend at the Florida International Rally and Motorsports Park (also known as the Official Test Track of Grassroots Motorsports), where NASCAR Cup champion Chase Elliott made his debut on the dirt alongside rallycross and rally royalty like Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust and Scott Speed.

Despite only participating in the final round of the championship, Elliott quickly proved he could slide and jump like the best of them on Day 1, beating out Tanner Foust in a Bracket Battle­–a head-to-head, tournament-style bracket that determines who takes pole on Day 2. Unfortunately for Elliott, race stewards took the win after determining that he nudged Foust a little too hard on the final lap.


At any rate, fans and drivers alike were pleasantly surprised at Elliott’s performance, considering he had only been introduced to the ZipRecruiter-sponsored Subaru only days before the event.

Timmy Hasen–followed closely behind by his brother Kevin–would take the Round 5 win, with Travis Pastrana nabbing the overall championship win.


The weekend was also comprised of two other racing series, the NRX Next series and a side-by-side racing series that returned to the schedule after the event at Minnesota’s ERX Motorsports Park.

The NRX Next cars are pretty similar to the former GRC Lites and ARX2 classes, acting as a development series for the Nitro Rallycross. The side-by-side series, known as SxS, use modified, spec UTVs that offer a more cost-friendly way to participate.

For more information and results from the 2021 Nitro Rallycross Championship, visit nitrorallycross.com.

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Comments
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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
12/6/21 12:20 p.m.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this rallycross series sticks–at least for a little while. It was a lot of fun to watch, as most of the drivers seemed pretty on par with one another as far as competitiveness goes.

Cleetus McFarland even competed in the SxS races on Saturday, which is a series I'd love to see more of (high center of gravity = high chance of fun).

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
12/6/21 1:45 p.m.

Wow that looks like a cool event! Ill definitely have to go if it comes back to the FIRM. From the replays those drone shots look awesome. 

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/6/21 1:47 p.m.

I was there watching as well.  They put on a fantastic show!  I'm glad to see the Firm getting some national spotlight, its a great facility with a great group of people running it.  I'm excited to use some of these new track elements for the Firm's upcoming rallycross season.

dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/6/21 3:38 p.m.

My son and I were there yesterday and it was AWESOME! What phenomenal racing!! Seriously shopping for a rallycross car now!

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
12/6/21 9:43 p.m.

Race stewards.......  ick.  That was about as clean as you can expect on that course.  I'd love to see the "damage" from that horrific collision....  I bet shopping carts have done worse in parking lots.  

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/7/21 7:41 a.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

I agree that was a weak call against Chase.   It was pretty minor contact for that series.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
12/7/21 9:08 a.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

Makes me wonder if there is a reason why the stewards were so strict with contact.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
12/7/21 9:45 a.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

No idea, but it was a disappointing result for such a good race.  Especially the way the announcers talked Chase down a bit.

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