Elliott proving Dodge's strength

Veteran driver Bill Elliott withheld three hours worth of delays to pull out a win Sunday on the three-turned track at Pocono. It was a good weekend for the Dodge driver who also grabbed the Bud Pole Award for the event. So far this season,...

Veteran driver Bill Elliott withheld three hours worth of delays to pull out a win Sunday on the three-turned track at Pocono. It was a good weekend for the Dodge driver who also grabbed the Bud Pole Award for the event. So far this season, Elliott has knocked out four poles, eight top-10s and tallied up one win in only his second season driving for Ray Evernham.

"Ray and this Dodge team has done so much to put this effort together. I'm proud to be a part of it. They've busted their cans week in and week out trying to get this program up to speed. They've done an excellent job from Mike Ford (crew chief) and all the other guys and motor guys to Ray. Dodge and UAW supports this deal, and it's been a lot of fun being with them."

Owner Evernham, was also proud of the win. "That 9 team has been getting better and better, and they've been showing a lot of strength. We knew sooner or later they were going to be able to put it all together. They certainly did that Sunday."

The 1989 Winston Cup champion, Elliott says the win comes in result of the team's experience together after grouping for over a year now. "I think the confidence has been an on-going thing. Back when Ray started this deal last year we ran decent. We were nipping and tucking from 10th to 20th and every now and then we'd get a top 10. We just kind of kept stepping it up. They started putting real good stuff under me and that's just kind of been an on-going evolution."

Evernham says he knew when he hired the the two-time Daytona 500 winner, pieces would fall in to place sooner or later. "We were just a good mix for one another. He was a perfect guy for me at that time, and I was the perfect guy for him. It was the perfect situation, and I knew as soon as we put him in equipment and he got to feeling healthy again, he could start winning races. Now we're giving him cars that can get the job done. He's healthy and he's confident and right now, today, Bill Elliott is as good as anybody on the race track."

With all the discussion of fellow veteran driver Ricky Rudd debating retirement, the question on the rise is how long fellow drivers, such as Elliott, are going to stay in the game. "I think I'm going to take that a step at a time. I've really made no concrete decisions about the point I want to go to."

"Basically, I've got another year on my contract with another two-year option after that. I'm just going to take it a step at a time. Depending on how I feel next year, will depend on what I do from there on. Right now, I want to focus on the rest of this season on a race by race deal and get this year out of the way and see how I feel next year."

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott