Martinsville II: Bill Elliott preview

BILL ELLIOTT NO. 9 DODGE DEALERS/UAW DODGE INTREPID MARTINSVILLE "I can't say enough about these guys. Our program is where it needs to be, and you're starting to see the results on the track. Mike (Ford, team director) and the guys have been...

BILL ELLIOTT NO. 9 DODGE DEALERS/UAW DODGE INTREPID

MARTINSVILLE

"I can't say enough about these guys. Our program is where it needs to be, and you're starting to see the results on the track. Mike (Ford, team director) and the guys have been putting good equipment underneath me, and we've just got to keep it going. Martinsville can be tough. It's one of those tracks that can get you when you least expect it. Some of that is out of your control so you just go in knowing that you need good track position, good pit stops and a good handling race car.."

RAY EVERNHAM -- RECENT PERFORMANCES

"I'm really proud of both teams. We've struggled at Charlotte a good bit and that's a place that's special to me. Bill ran great all night, and Jeremy ran great all night too. It's unfortunate that he was so far back in the field - and we're going to work on qualifying - but the point is that he ran top-five to top-10 times all night. I knew if we could go to Charlotte and have a good run that our recent performance wouldn't be a fluke. I feel really good about where we are right now as a race team. I'm really proud of everyone from the engine shop to the car shop to the drivers, just everyone involved in this organization."

RACE NOTES

* Elliott is scheduled to drive chassis No. 49 this weekend at Martinsville. Elliott drove this chassis at Loudon where he finished fourth -- his best finish ever at the track.

STATS & FACTS

CAREER AT MARTINSVILLE

* Though he has never visited victory lane or earned the pole position at Martinsville, Elliott has accumulated three top-fives and 13 top-10 finishes in 41 starts at NASCAR's oldest track. He has led five Martinsville races for 241 laps, most recently logging five bonus points in the fall race of 1990.

MARTINSVILLE BESTS

* Elliott earned his best Martinsville finish of third in the fall races of '84 and '94. He qualified on the outside pole position in the fall race of '88, marking his best start at the .526-mile oval. He has started in the third position twice - most recently in the 2002 fall race at Martinsville.

TOP-FIVE RUNS

* Bill Elliott's fourth-place run at Charlotte was his seventh top-five finish of 2003 and his fourth in the last seven races. The last time Elliott earned more than six top-fives in a season was 1992 (14).

RUNNING UP FRONT

* Elliott led 115 of the 267 laps raced at Kansas this year, the first time that he has led the most laps in a race since Indianapolis in August 2002.

POINTS RACE UPDATE

* After finishing fourth at Charlotte, Elliott gains a spot in the Winston Cup points race, occupying the 12th position. His climb into the top-10 continues to get smaller and smaller, needing just 68 points to crack the coveted spot.

MOST RECENT RUN AT MARTINSVILLE

* In this year's Virginia 500 at Martinsville, Elliott reported early on that his No. 9 Dodge was handling well. Unfortunately, track position hurt Elliott at the difficult to pass .526-mile paper clip shaped track. He relied on four tires throughout his stops and was sent out quickly by the Dodge Squad, who won the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship for the second time this season. Elliott patiently picked off spots throughout the day, managing to stay only one lap down from the leaders. Elliott finished in the 13th spot, the first car one lap down.

LAST WEEKEND

* In last weekend's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Elliott posted his 12th top-10 start in 2003 and sixth top-10 in his last eight races at Charlotte, starting fourth for Saturday's event. Despite a practice session shortened extensively by rain, Mike Ford and the Dodge Squad had the No. 9 Dodge dialed in from the get go. The 27-year veteran was never out of the top-five (except while cycling through pit stops) for the duration of the event. Elliott reported few problems with his Dodge and Mike Ford only made slight chassis adjustments during Elliott's pit stops. The Dodge Squad produced efficient pit stops enabling Elliott to maintain his track position. On lap 107 Elliott left the pits in first place. He held that position for 27 laps, earning five valuable bonus points. Elliott leads all active drivers in most laps led at the Charlotte speedway (1,163).

-em-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott