Bill Elliott Recalls "Good Old Days"

Elliott recalls good ol' days at Talladega TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 20, 1999) Bill Elliott knows a thing or two about superspeedways and hopes to use that knowledge this weekend. It was 1985. "Back to the Future" was the hot movie, "We are the...

Elliott recalls good ol' days at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 20, 1999) Bill Elliott knows a thing or two about superspeedways and hopes to use that knowledge this weekend. It was 1985. "Back to the Future" was the hot movie, "We are the World" ruled the airwaves, and Bill Elliott dominated the superspeedways like no one before or since.

Elliott won 11 races on superspeedways that year. He won the Daytona 500. He won the Winston 500, which was then run in May. He won everything but the NASCAR Winston Cup championship, it seemed. That honor went to short track ace Darrell Waltrip.

The 1985 Winston 500 was one of Elliott's two career NASCAR Winston Cup victories at Talladega Superspeedway. What made it so memorable is that the Dawsonville, Ga. native fell two laps down while his team repaired an oil leak and then rallied to make those laps up under green and win going away.

"That was during the good ol' days," said Elliott. "We had everybody covered and it was one of those races that we were fast and everybody was doing everything they could to beat us. Everything was just perfect and I think everybody kind of overcompensated and was trying some crazy stuff because a lot cars blew up and fell out. There were really a lot of motor problems because it was one of those races where they ran so fast for so long, regardless of what I ran."

Awesome Bill from Dawsonville began the race looking anything but. He says his victory was merely a product of other drivers having worse luck than he did.

"We had one of the return lines to the oil tank at the oil pump come loose. I came in, they tightened her up, and went back out. My thought process was, 'I guess it's gonna be a bad day.' But everybody fell out. I think the biggest thing was that I had a really good car by itself. Back then they didn't dictate spoiler or anything. Cale was probably the next best car, but he was trying to run by himself and he had no help because everyone else was torn up. I was running so good that he couldn't run with me, so it was wild."

Elliott experienced a different kind of wild a year ago during the DieHard 500. This Sunday will test the 43-year-old redhead, as it marks the anniversary of his terrible accident precipitated by a nudge from behind. Elliott suffered bruised ribs in the accident. He says it bruised his spirits as much as anything.

"I've made it through a couple restrictor-plate races since then, but, man, that was a bad deal," he said. "I probably had the best speedway car I've had there in a long time. We ran well and hated to end up a victim of somebody else's mistake."

Source: NASCAR Online

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Darrell Waltrip