Phoenix: Bill Elliott preview

Bill Elliott No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid RECENT RUNS "I can't say enough about these guys. Mike Ford and all of the guys from the pit crew to the fab shop to the engine shop have done an excellent job. This team is headed in the...

Bill Elliott
No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid

RECENT RUNS

"I can't say enough about these guys. Mike Ford and all of the guys from the pit crew to the fab shop to the engine shop have done an excellent job. This team is headed in the right direction. They've put some good Dodges underneath me and we've got some finishes that show that. We just have to keep at it."

PHOENIX

"I've been up and down at Phoenix. I know Jeremy had a pretty good test out there. You definitely need to have a good handling car. We're certainly going to give it our best. We're on a roll now and we just need to finish out these last few races with some strong runs."

RECENT RUNS - MIKE FORD

"It's taken us a long time to get our equipment and people headed in the right direction with the changes we went through over the winter- personnel and car wise. About mid season we really started clicking but we just didn't have things fall our way. It seems like the last 10 or 12 races, we've started to overcome that hurdle. Whether we're just getting smarter or we're just maturing more, we're able to handle the circumstances better. I just think the main thing is that everybody is working well together and the equipment comes with that. I'm real happy with the way this team has come together."

RACE NOTES

* Bill Elliott is scheduled to drive chassis No. 55. The chassis is new and was tested at Kentucky last week.

STATS & FACTS

CAREER AT PHOENIX

* Sunday's race will mark Elliott's 16th career start at Phoenix. Elliott has one win, two poles, four top-fives and four top-10s at the raceway. He won from the 13th position in 1989 and started from the pole position in 1993 and 1995.

TOP-FIVE RUNS

* Bill Elliott's fourth-place run at Atlanta was his eighth top-five finish of 2003 and his fifth in a span of nine races. Prior to 2003, Elliott had earned eight or more top-fives in 10 seasons throughout his career (1982-90, 1992). His average final ranking in those years is third (not including 1982, in which he only ran a partial schedule.)

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 Atlanta, Elliott's momentum continues to roll him up though the top-10 in the Winston Cup Series points race. In eight races, Elliott has moved from 16th to ninth in the Winston Cup points standings, his highest ranking of the season. He is 155 points out of the next position.

MOST RECENT RUN AT PHOENIX

* Elliott started 14th in Phoenix's 312-lap event last year. He remained in the top-15 until trouble in the pits on his first stop pushed him back to the rear of the field. He battled tight handling conditions back in the pack for the remainder of the day as the Dodge Squad made adjustments to Elliott's Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge. Trouble in the pits throughout the day held Elliott back in the field. He finished 30th on the day..

LAST WEEKEND

* Atlanta Motor Speedway's 500-mile event was red flagged Sunday after just 61 miles due to inclement weather. The race resumed Monday morning with Elliott in third after starting in the fifth spot. On lap 94, Elliott continued to run in the top-five. As Elliott completed his pit stop a caution came out. A disparity with NASCAR displaying the caution lights and the caution flag put Elliott at the tail end of the lead lap. Elliott was forced to maneuver through the field in the 16th position. By lap 129, Elliott battled back into the top-10 and by lap 173; he drove into the top-five. The 27-year veteran reported slightly tight conditions with his Dodge in the corners. Mike Ford used minor adjustments to the chassis with wedge and air pressure changes. The Dodge Squad kept Elliott up front with their work in the pits, and he spent the last 50 laps in the top-five. He gained a spot in the closing laps, finishing fourth. The finish is the team's fourth top-10 result in four races and its third top five in as many races.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott