The success Chase Elliott has had in NASCAR Cup Series road course races has been through the roof. But has he ever been offered an open-wheel test?
At just 25 years of age, Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott is already the winningest road course driver in the NASCAR Cup Series among active drivers by nearly twice the amount of the second highest on the list.
With seven victories in road course races, all since 2018, the 2020 champion ranks third on the all-time list behind only four-time champion Jeff Gordon (nine) and three-time champion Tony Stewart (eight).
Gordon and Stewart also did something outside NASCAR that Elliott has yet to do. Gordon did a ride swap with Juan Pablo Montoya and drove his Williams Formula 1 car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course back in 2003.
Stewart himself used to compete in IndyCar (Indy Racing League), including the Indy 500, and he also did a Formula 1 ride swap with Lewis Hamilton at Watkins Glen International back in 2011, when he got the chance to pilot the now-seven-time world champion’s McLaren.
But Elliott has never driven an open-wheel IndyCar or Formula 1 car, and he has not yet been offered a test.
However, that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t consider it if he were, and if anybody (aside from Kyle Larson, who some believe could not only test an IndyCar but compete in the 2022 Indy 500) in the current Cup Series field deserves that opportunity, it’s the driver who has proven he is at another level on courses with both left and right turns.
“I’ve never been offered one,” Elliott told Beyond the Flag. “I would definitely consider it if I was, just to have a chance to go drive something different. I feel like if a guy ever had that opportunity, you would have to go and at least check it out, right?
“Those types of things don’t come every day, and just to learn a different discipline would be fun. But no, I’ve never been offered, but if one ever came my way, I would certainly go at least check it out, see how different it was, or kind of see how it went.”
So to Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren/Arrow McLaren SP, Chip Ganassi Racing, Team Penske, Andretti Autosport, and whoever else may be listening: let’s make this happen.