Bill Elliott And The No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T Ready For Breakthrough Run At Michigan BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 14, 2001)- Bill Elliott typically makes a statement at Michigan International Speedway and this weekend he has the car to prove...
Bill Elliott And The No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T Ready For Breakthrough Run At Michigan
BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 14, 2001)- Bill Elliott typically makes a statement at Michigan International Speedway and this weekend he has the car to prove it. Elliott's No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T features a new paint scheme with the powerful image of a Dodge Ram truck bursting out of the hood. Fueled by the boldly painted car, Elliott is ready for the track where he captured seven victories and six poles during his tenure with Michigan native Harry Melling.
Recently, Elliott has been making his presence known on the track. At Watkins Glen, the No. 9 was headed for another top five finish before an on-track incident with less than six laps to go dropped him to 24th. Prior to the Glen, Elliott had collected one top five and three top 10s in his last four races. He qualified on the outside pole at Indianapolis and led during the race, finishing eighth. Elliott drove his Dodge Intrepid R/T to a top 10 finish at the season's early race at Michigan, finishing ninth.
Bill Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T
What is your outlook for Michigan?
"Michigan is one of my favorite tracks. It's very much a home track for me. I enjoy going there because I know so many people. It always reminds me of the early days with Harry Melling and Jim Knutson. Their support really meant a lot to me and my brothers.
"Michigan is the kind of place where we could have a good run. We've got to sort out this change to the Dodge and see what happens. We had a good first race there. We weren't bad at Indy, and that will help us at Michigan. We'll just have to see. A lot of people finish the race there. It's a short race. It's a competitive race. There are usually a bunch of guys that run well there. It's the type of track that is pretty good for getting up through traffic. Aero is definitely a factor. The guy in the lead has the advantage. The way things are now, it's a little too aero-sensitive. The rest of the guys can't get caught up.
"We've learned a lot lately. We're sorting this stuff out. But, we're getting better each week. It will come with time. The change to a new car with a new motor is pretty dramatic. We're taking it one step at a time. We've just got to keep working in the right direction. The recent changes hampered our setups from what we tested, but we'll be okay.
Bill Elliott By the Numbers
* Bill Elliott leads all active drivers with seven poles and seven wins at Michigan. He has 16 top fives and 28 top 10s in his 47 Winston Cup Series appearances at the track. He swept both events at Michigan in 1985 and 1986 and won six of eight from 1984 to 1987. He has won a Michigan race from the pole position three times in his career.
* Elliott has earned nearly $1.25 million in total winnings at Michigan International Speedway.
* This will be Elliott's 646th start in a NASCAR Winston Cup points event. If he makes every race, his 650th start will be when he returns to New Hampshire International Speedway for the New Hampshire 300 on September 16th.
* Elliott and the No. 9 team have earned six top 10 finishes for the year, including two in their last three races. They finished fifth at Daytona, ninth at Michigan and Sears Point, 10th at Chicagoland, fourth at the second race at Pocono and eighth at Indianapolis.
* After visiting Watkins Glen, Elliott has fallen out of a tie in the points standings and remains 16th. His average start for the year is 13th and his average finish is 19th.
* With $2,063,614 in official earnings this year, Elliott leads all Dodge drivers in total winnings. After finishing eighth at Indy, Elliott became the first Dodge driver in history to break the $2 million earnings mark in a single season.