Atlanta II: Bill Elliott preview

Elliott to Carry FordParts.com Colors Before Hometown Atlanta Crowd September 1, 2010 - It seems only fitting that as Atlanta Motor Speedway celebrates its 50th anniversary, the race team with the most wins at the Georgia track is celebrating a...

Elliott to Carry FordParts.com Colors Before Hometown Atlanta Crowd

September 1, 2010 - It seems only fitting that as Atlanta Motor Speedway celebrates its 50th anniversary, the race team with the most wins at the Georgia track is celebrating a special anniversary of its own. The Wood Brothers, who lead all teams with 12 Atlanta victories, come to Atlanta for the Emory Healthcare 500 with the hometown favorite, Dawsonville native Bill Elliott, driving the blue-and-white No. 21 FordParts.com Ford Fusion.

It'll be the second time this season that the Woods' Ford has carried the FordParts.com colors on the same weekend that Tasca Racing, which competes in the NHRA, also switches from its familiar red-and-white colors to the blue and white of FordParts.com

"We're excited about the paint scheme," said Eddie Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Ford. "It looks really nice, and when we ran it in Michigan earlier this year it was well received."

FordParts.com is a relatively new offering from Ford that offers a chance for repair shops, body shops, fleets, and do-it-yourselfers to order Genuine Ford and Motorcraft parts online.

Once a part is ordered, consumers can pick up the parts at a dealership or have them delivered to their home or shop.

The service offers a VIN-search capability up for more than 280,000 parts, and it also has available more than 22,000 detailed technical diagrams of parts and assemblies.

For Elliott, the thought of driving the FordParts.com car at his home track brings back memories of his five victories and five poles in 61 career starts on the home turf. It's also a place that he remembers from his pre-driving days, of traveling there in the mid-1970s, parking in the infield and cheering David Pearson on to victory in the Wood Brothers Mercury.

Back in those days, Elliott and his family were well known in the north Georgia area for their unwavering support of Ford Motor Company and of NASCAR and its race tracks.

Elliott's fondness for the 50-year-old AMS continues to this day.

"It's great to get to race this close to home," he said. "It's been a lot of fun racing there over the years, and I still enjoy racing there and still want to run good there."

Elliott, like most veteran drivers preferred the old true-oval configuration at Atlanta, one that was changed to a quad-oval in the early 1990s. But he's a little more encouraged than usual this week because of the success he and the No. 21 team had in their last AMS outing.

He qualified a disappointing 34th back in March, but his David Hyder-led crew made several changes to the car in the early laps and despite a pit-road penalty, Elliott drove his way toward the front, leading the race at one point and finishing 16th after weaving his way through some late-race multi-car crashes.

They also had a fuel-mileage strategy in play that could have put them in contention to win had the late-race caution flags fallen their way.

"I was really happy with the way we ran in the spring," Elliott said. "We started way back, but everybody put in a great effort and we wound up running good."

This weekend's race will be the first at AMS for Elliott at night on Labor Day weekend. Last year he had to turn over the No. 21 Ford Fusion to David Gilliland after he injured himself riding his motorcycle the week before the race.

Elliott vows that won't happen again.

"I'm staying off my motorcycle this week," he said.

-source: wbr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , David Gilliland , David Pearson