Elliott Returns To Home Track in McDonald's-Sponsored Car ATLANTA (Oct. 27, 2004) - The last time Bill Elliott was at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) for a NASCAR Nextel Cup race he was perched in the media complex serving as a radio commentator.
Elliott Returns To Home Track in McDonald's-Sponsored Car
ATLANTA (Oct. 27, 2004) - The last time Bill Elliott was at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) for a NASCAR Nextel Cup race he was perched in the media complex serving as a radio commentator. That was back in March when the Dawsonville, Ga. native snapped a driving streak of 49 consecutive Cup races at the track he calls home.
Elliott, who is running a limited schedule in 2004, returns to AMS this weekend in a more comfortable surrounding as the driver of the No. 98 McDonald's Dodge Intrepid, operated by Bill Elliott Racing with support from Evernham Motorsports.
"Commentating was fun, but at the same time it was also hard. When you're at the track you really miss competing," said Elliott, who finished fourth in his last outing at AMS in October, 2003.
Elliott's appearance in Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 will be his sixth Cup race of the season and the second with the Golden Arch sponsorship. His most recent Cup race was in the McDonald's car in September at California Speedway where he qualified third and finished 25th.
"The performance in California was better than the finish - we had a miscue at the end of the race," recalled Elliott. "But coming to Atlanta we're optimistic. We had a good test there a few weeks ago and feel that we can be competitive. If you can be close enough with a few things going your way, you can then have a good day. It doesn't take much to have it come together."
Speaking of coming together, Elliott knows firsthand what it takes to be successful at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He has won there five times and also captured the pole five times.
"Obviously, Atlanta has always been a special place for me," said Elliott, "It's home and everyone at the track has been real good to me. I would like nothing more to put on a good show for the fans and for McDonald's. It sure feels good to be wearing the Golden Arches." (McDonald's sponsored Elliott's team from 1995 to 2000.)
Along with the Southern California race in Fontana, Elliott's other Cup races this season were at Las Vegas, Texas, Daytona (July) and Indianapolis. His best finish was ninth at Indy's Brickyard 400.
"The mentality is that we can go into any race and be competitive, no matter how many events we have entered this year," said Elliott. "As I have said, if we can get those little things to come together I think we'll be strong in Atlanta."
Elliott's storied NASCAR Cup career includes 44 wins, 175 top fives, 319 top 10s, 55 poles, prize money of nearly $37 million and a record 16-time recipient of NASCAR's most popular driver award.