This weekend may mark Chase Elliott’s final chance to claim his fourth victory of the 2021 racing season.

Elliott will be contesting a Nitro Rallycross event being held in northern Florida, at a rallycross track located southwest of the Jacksonville area.

Nitro Rallycross — a series founded by Travis Pastrana after the demise of several different rally series in the United States — consists of drivers racing on largely dirt-surfaced tracks, navigating jumps and turns.

It seems like the perfect formula for Elliott to excel as he’s a road-racing ace. And over the past two years he’s tried his hand at dirt-track oval racing.

Kyle Busch was in a recent Nitro Rallycross event contested in Utah, and came home a close second to Pastrana. Although he will be up against tough competition this weekend — including Rallycross stars Pastrna, Scott Speed and Steve Arpin — I am predicting Elliott will grab his fourth racing win of the year.

He’s already celebrated in victory lane in NASCAR Cup series road races contested in Austin, Texas, and Elk Hart Lake, Wisc. Elliott also claimed a high-profile victory in the Superstar Racing Experience event held at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, a fabled short track.

The Rallycross event is scheduled to be streamed Sunday afternoon on the Peacock Premium online service.

This weekend also marks another big racing event in Florida, which Elliott previously claimed the trophy in.

The annual Snowball Derby for late-model stock cars will be contested at the Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola.

Elliott won the Snowball Derby in 2011 and 2015. Other past winners of note of the race — which dates back to 1968 — include Pete Hamilton, Donnie Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Ted Musgrave, Rich Bickle, Kyle Busch, John Hunter Nemecheck and Noah Gragson. This list of winners also includes two women, Tammy Jo Kirk in 1994 and Johanna Long in 2010.

Ty Majeski, a Wisconsin short-track superstar who has dabbled in the NASCAR truck and Xfinity series over the last couple of years, won last year’s race. He is among the drivers entered in this year’s race.

The entry list also includes: NASCAR Cup series drivers Erik Jones and Ryan Preece; NASCAR truck competitors Chase Purdy, Derek Kraus and Grant Enfinger; and two-time NASCAR/ARCA West champion Jesse Love.

Jones won the Snowball Derby in back-to-back years in 2012 and 2013. His performances in the 2012 race, in which he beat Kyle Busch to the finish line, caught Busch’s eye and led him to hiring Jones to drive for his truck team.

As is evidenced with Jones, a strong run by a little-known driver in the Snowball Derby could lead to a shot at a deal with a high-profile racing team.

This weekend also marks the second-to-last Formula 1 race of the season. Max Verstappen and seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton are locked into a tight battle for the championship headed into the first series race to be contested in the streets of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Should Hamilton win Sunday and Verstappen finish second while recording the fastest race lap, they will be tied in points going into next weekend’s season finale in Abu Dhabi.

If Verstappen outpaces Hamilton Sunday, he could clinch his first series championship.

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email

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