Atlanta II: Bill Elliott preview

MOVING INTO THE TOP-10 IN POINTS "It's a nice accomplishment for this team. They've worked hard and deserve it. I'm really proud of them because we've been consistent and that's what you've got to be in this sport. Our finishes haven't really ...


"It's a nice accomplishment for this team. They've worked hard and deserve it. I'm really proud of them because we've been consistent and that's what you've got to be in this sport. Our finishes haven't really shown what we're capable of until the last few months. We've got some momentum going and it's showing up on the track. We can't let it get away now. We've just got to keep it going into these last few race. If we do that, then everything else will take care of itself."


"Winston has done a lot for this sport. They helped take it to a whole new level. There've been a lot of good memories, but I guess winning the championship and winning the Winston Million are probably two of the best - the championship because it was such a big deal and the Million because it had never been done before.


"Atlanta has definitely changed since the redesign. The biggest thing today is as the racetrack has aged since the change it's gotten a lot more raceable. I don't think you can say there's one key area as far as where you need to be. It depends on how well you've got your car working. If you're better than the guy getting in the corner, you can beat him in the corner. If you're better up off the corner you can beat him up off the corner. That's the thing about Atlanta. Atlanta to me is like a Michigan or some of the other places. You can capitalize on somebody's weaknesses and it can work vice versa also. They can capitalize on your weaknesses."


"When we went into the race at that time it was like we were kind of a long shot. We still mathematically had a good shot at it, but yet we really didn't have anything to lose. Davey had it to lose; we had it to win. We did everything right that day. We went in, led the race, obviously lacked a little bit of leading all the race, but yet had a good run. Kulwicki had a good run and it ended up we won the race; he won the championship. We did everything we could do. He did everything he needed to do."


Bill Elliott is scheduled to drive chassis No. 30, which he drove to all three of his Evernham Motorsports victories: Homestead 2001, Indianapolis 2002, and Pocono(b) 2002. Elliott has run this chassis this year at Pocono(a), Michigan(b), Indianapolis and Kansas. His highest finish with the chassis this season is Kansas where he finished second.

Bill Elliott is scheduled to drive a specially painted No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge commemorating his 1988 Winston Cup Championship. The paint scheme is part of the Victory Lap tribute program in honor of RJ Reynolds' and Winston's 33-year commitment to NASCAR.



This weekend's race will mark Elliott's 54th career start at Atlanta. He has five poles, five wins, 12 top-fives and 18 top-10s at the track. Elliott has led 18 races for a total of 1,016 laps at the racetrack.


Bill Elliott leads all active drivers with five poles, 12 top-fives and 53 starts at Atlanta. Elliott has five wins at the racetrack rank him second among active drivers (B. Labonte - six). Atlanta, Pocono and Darlington rank second to Michigan (seven wins) as Elliott's winningest tracks.


There have been only five sweeps of Atlanta's two NWCS races since the track opened in 1960, and Bill Elliott has provided the most recent two (1985 and 1992). The other drivers to accomplish this feat: Marvin Panch (1965), Bobby Allison (1972) and David Pearson (1973).


Elliott's most recent victory at Atlanta came when he swept both of the 1992 races en route to a runner-up finish in the points championship. Elliott's most recent pole at the track came last March when he earned his first pole of 2002 in the MBNA America 500. The pole was Elliott's first pole at Atlanta since November 1991 and his 52nd career Bud Pole in 663 races.


Elliott made his second career Winston Cup Series start at Atlanta, March 21, 1976. His first career start came less than a month earlier at North Carolina.


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


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.


After finishing ninth at Martinsville, Elliott's momentum continues to roll and lands him in the top 10 in the Winston Cup Series points race for the first time this season. Elliott gains two spots and cracks the top-10 at 10th place, just 90 points out of the next position.


Elliott lit up the qualifying charts with a time of 28.99, 191.23 mph, in this year's spring race at Atlanta. He completed an all-Dodge front row for the first time this season and the first time since Evernham Motorsports completed the feat at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November of 2001. Sunny conditions compared to the cloudy conditions that occurred during qualifying and practice, caused the No. 9 Dodge Squad to make some adjustments to Elliott's Dodge. Elliott reported slightly loose conditions. On the team's first stop they made air pressure and wedge adjustments. A caution on lap 135 brought Elliott into the pits for a trackbar adjustment and four tires. The Dodge Squad's fast work gained Elliott two spots on the racetrack. Elliott lost a lap to the leaders but remained in the top 15. He nearly got his lap back on lap 151 but was blocked from doing so. He was making a run at the lap again when engine trouble ended the hometown favorite's run. Elliott finished in 39th place.


An early caution helped Elliott last weekend when his No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge received minor damage after an on-track incident between two other cars at Martinsville. Elliott came in on lap 56 for two tires and repairs to the right front fender. Mike Ford and his crew knew track position was important and on lap 125 they gave it to Elliott, keeping him out while several competitors pitted. The strategy worked, and Elliott held onto the second spot. The 500-lap event produced 15 cautions. Various pit stop calls throughout the day put Elliott back in the field several times but he held his own, avoiding further damage to his Dodge. He passed competitors during an event when several other drivers complained about their inability to pass. With a little more than 100 laps to go, Elliott sat in the 17th position. He maneuvered his way through the lead lap and lapped cars to finish ninth. The run was Elliott's highest finish at the track since April 2000 and his best finish at a short track this season.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Marvin Panch , Bobby Allison