The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion has provided a new look at his debut weekend with the Nitro Rallycross series. Chase Elliott released a video on his YouTube channel that showcased his first day behind the wheel of the “GoNitro” ZipRecruiter Subaru, as well as his first-ever car jump.
The nearly 12-minute clip, which is part one of the planned releases, showcased Elliott as he took part in his track walk at The Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park. He stopped short after seeing the 100-foot ramp and revealed that he doesn’t have the same level of jumping experience as the other drivers.
“I’ve never jumped a car, never really jumped motorcycles or anything much,” Elliott said during his interview with reporter Laurette Nicoll, which he showed in his YouTube video. “So this is completely new. But [I’m] super excited. This is something that I’ve enjoyed watching — just rally car racing in general. Probably more so overseas than here in the States — but keeping up with that a little bit has been neat.”
Elliott’s Video Revealed the Thin Line Between Success & Failure
An important part of the Nitro Rallycross track is the massive jump. This obstacle — whether it’s at The FIRM, Glen Helen Raceway, Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, or the other tracks — puts the drivers on full display as they make the supercars fly.
Elliott’s video revealed that there is a fine line between a spectacular jump and a failure that puts the race team to work as they strive to make repairs. Travis Pastrana, the creator of the Nitro Rallycross series, provided this insight during a discussion with Elliott.
Pastrana explained that he made his first jump at 62 mph and his second at 60 mph. His estimate was that the drivers could hit the jump as slow as 58 mph and as fast as 65 mph. Going too fast would result in a hard impact and a potential nosedive while going too slow would potentially lead to the supercar clipping the top of the jump.
“60. That’s what I just told everyone,” Pastrana told Elliott in the YouTube video. “Just hit the f****** thing at 60. You get a little bit of margin on one side.”
Elliott Had Multiple Attempts During Jump Practice
As Elliott revealed with his YouTube video, he had no prior experience with the Nitro Rallycross supercars. He didn’t know how to start the vehicle, and he didn’t know how it would handle the 100-foot jump.
Fortunately for the NASCAR Cup Series driver, he had multiple attempts during jump practice so he could prepare for the first races on Saturday, December 4. His first time going off the ramp resulted in the nose of the “GoNitro” ZipRecruiter Subaru hitting the ramp and shooting dirt into the air. The second attempt was cleaner and showed that Elliott was making progress.
He revealed after the jump attempts that he kept telling himself to not be “too short,” which led to him going too long. He added that the first jump was rough, which echoed Pastrana’s comments about going too fast off the ramp.
The YouTube video featuring the jump practice was only the first in a series showcasing Elliott’s debut weekend with Nitro Rallycross. He will provide more videos about his experience in the coming weeks, which will likely highlight his race with Tanner Foust that featured an initial win before the stewards issued a penalty for his contact on the track.