Elliott quietly on the move By Matthew Leach FORT WORTH, Texas (March 26, 1999) Bill Elliott isn't as dominant as he once was. But he's still effective. Quietly, Bill Elliott is making his move. Elliott, coming off one of the most ...
Elliott quietly on the move By Matthew Leach
FORT WORTH, Texas (March 26, 1999) Bill Elliott isn't as dominant as he once was. But he's still effective. Quietly, Bill Elliott is making his move. Elliott, coming off one of the most disappointing seasons in his illustrious NASCAR Winston Cup Series career, is beginning to show the form that placed him in the top-10 in points five times in the previous six seasons and 13 times overall. Elliott posted a 9th-place run Friday in Bud Pole Qualifying for Sunday's PRIMESTAR 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, and it's just another small step in the 1988 series champion's climb back to the top.
After starting 30th or worse in three of the season's first four races, "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville" now has back-to-back top-10 starts. He has three top-15 finishes in the last four races. Those aren't the sort of numbers that would have pleased Elliott when he was at his peak in the 1980s and early 1990s, and they don't thrill him now. But he'll take it.
"We need help," Elliott said. "Right now we feel like we're going in a good direction and we just need a few little pump-ups here and there to get us going."
A top-10 start at a track where he has raced well in the past may be just the sort of 'pump-up' he needs. Last year, Elliott notched a respectable 13th-place after starting 38th. The year before, he started 16th and finished 11th.
Elliott believes he'll be strong on race day once again this year.
"We feel like we're getting better," Elliott said. "That's what we need to do.
"We came out here and tested, (and) I feel like it helped our efforts quite a bit. I had a particular feel for the race car and I was able to duplicate that."
This season is looking quite a bit like 1997 for the McDonald's team, when Elliott shook off a subpar season (he placed 30th overall in '96 after missing several races due to injury) and turned in steady run after steady run to finish in the top-10.
Some people may have written Elliott off, and the irony is they might not even notice they're wrong. These days, "Million Dollar Bill" doesn't get it done in the flashy, dominating way he once did. But if you look carefully, you'll notice that he does get it done.
Source: NASCAR Online