Michigan: Bill Elliott race report

Elliott Finishes 36th in Life Lock 400 at Michigan International Speedway Harrisburg, NC (June 16, 2008) - Bill Elliott raced the no. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Motorcraft Ford Fusion during a 400 mile event that saw few caution flags. Elliott took...

Elliott Finishes 36th in Life Lock 400 at Michigan International Speedway

Harrisburg, NC (June 16, 2008) - Bill Elliott raced the no. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Motorcraft Ford Fusion during a 400 mile event that saw few caution flags. Elliott took the green flag in the 37th position after NASCAR cancelled qualifying due to rain.

The race began with an early caution on lap three. Because it was too early to determine how the car was performing, Bill pitted the #21 to top off with fuel. The race restarted on lap 5. On lap 37, Elliott radioed to the 21 team that the handling of the Motorcraft Ford was too tight through the corner.Atabout thatsame time, other teams began to pitduring green flag competition.Yet,becauseElliott had topped off with fuel on lap three, the #21 didn't pit until lap 42.Crew Chief, Mike Smith, radioed for Bill to come in and pit for four tires, fuel and make some small adjustments. As a result of the changes Bill felt the car get better on lap 50.

On lap 60, Elliott made a comment to the team about the handling of his car. He said, "Clean air and the adjustments made a difference, but now I have no grip off the corner. I can't believe that little bit of a change made that much difference."

The first half of the 200 lap event had only one other caution on lap 91 which made it difficult to perform any major adjustments. Since most of the pit stops were made under the green flag, pit stops had to be done quickly. However,during the pit stop under caution on lap 91, the 21 team made major adjustments to help with the "lack of grip" and put on four fresh tires and fuel. Elliott restarted the race 38th on lap 96.

On lap 101 another caution occurred and the team decided to make more adjustments. The swift 21 pit crew made aleft front shock adjustment, track bar adjustment, changed four tires and added fuel to the car within 15 seconds. The no. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion resumed the race on lap 106 in 39th position.

As green flag laps continued and the adjustments seemed to work in the wrong direction, Smith decided to reverse some of the changes that were made in previous pit stops. On lap 152, another caution flag flew. The team reversed some chassis adjustments and with one lap to go before the green flag restarted the race, the no. 21 was called to pit road to top off for fuel in hopes that this would be the last stop of the afternoon. The race resumed on lap 156 and Elliott was scored in the 36th position.

Elliott continued through green flag laps as the handling issues persisted when on lap 197 the caution flag came out for the fifth time. On lap 199, the no. 21 pitted for more tires, fuel and another small adjustment. The race restarted under the green, white, checkered scenario and Bill took the green in 35th. With one lap to go, a wreck occurred which caused the final lap toend under the checked/yellow condition and Bill crossed the finish line in the 36th position on lap 203.

Wood Brothers Racing will travel to the golden hills of Sonoma to Infineon Raceway where Marcos Ambrose will make his Sprint Cup debut in the no. 21 Honey Buns Ford Fusion.

-credit: wbr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Marcos Ambrose , Mike Smit
Teams Wood Brothers Racing