CONCORD, N.C. -- Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott and his No. 31 Action Express Racing teammates will start in the pole position for next weekend's Rolex 24 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Elliott's teammates, Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani, handled driving the Cadillac DPi-V.R in the qualifying session on Sunday. Elliott, a Rolex 24 rookie, will share the car with Mike Conway, as well.
“It’s a whirlwind. It’s like trying to drink water through a fire hose right now, just trying to learn,” Elliott said. "It’s obviously a high-performance vehicle – especially through the braking zones and through those sections of the track where they like speed. The faster you go through some of these sections, the better it drives. I’m trying to get that through my head a little bit. I felt like every lap I was getting better, pushing my limits and trying to figure out how fast I could get through those fast sections. It’s a lot of fun, for sure. I’ll keep working at it and go from there.”
Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Ally Cadillac DPi-V.R will start in sixth after Johnson and teammate Kamui Kobayashi ran during the qualifying session. They will be joined by Simon Pagenaud and Mike Rockenfeller in the No. 48 sports car. This will be Johnson's eighth Rolex 24 but his first in 10 years.
“This is a ton of fun. It’s an awesome race car," Johnson said. "We have an amazing teaming and amazing driver lineup. The camaraderie amongst the team, the professionalism, and the focus on winning is the great combination of all those things. So, I’m really excited and enjoying myself."
Overall, there are 50 teams entered into the prestigious event, making Elliott and Johnson's positioning more impressive.
Elliott, Johnson and their respective cars will kick off the Rolex 24 on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 3:40 p.m. ET. The race will conclude 24 hours later on Sunday, Jan. 31. at 3:40 p.m. ET. The start and end of the race will be aired on NBC.