Daytona II: Bill Elliott preview

Bill Elliott No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid DAYTONA "We've definitely made some strides on the superspeedways since the 500. We were better at Talladega than we were to start the season. We feel like we've got things going in the right...

Bill Elliott
No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid

DAYTONA

"We've definitely made some strides on the superspeedways since the 500. We were better at Talladega than we were to start the season. We feel like we've got things going in the right direction as far as what we need to do for this race. Our motor program's coming along and we've gotten a handle on a few more things. You just never know. The best you can do is just try to stay out of trouble and hope you're there at the end. Most of that is from having a good car but a lot of that is just being in the right place at the right time or not being in the wrong place at the wrong time."

RESTRICTED OR UNRESTRICTED

"I'm asked that all the time. I always say unrestricted but you just can't do that with the way things are today. Something's got to give, so until that happens, I don't think you'll see us running unrestricted any time soon."

RECENT RUNS WITH INJURED FOOT

"I'm telling you what, these guys have done a fantastic job of keeping us moving forward. I struggled trying to get a feel for what I had to do to drive with this foot, and I feel like I was a little bit of a negative to this team. We kept on plugging away at it though and Sonoma was a good day for us. We needed that little boost after what we've been through the past month or so. I'm anxious to keep that going into the part of the season where're we've done pretty well in the past."

RACE NOTES

* Bill Elliott is scheduled to drive chassis No. 41, which was Elliott's back up earlier this year at the Daytona 500. It has been rebodied since then.

CAREER AT DAYTONA

* This will be Elliott's 53rd career start at Daytona Int'l Speedway, where he has five poles and four wins. He leads all active drivers with 15 top-five finishes at Daytona. Elliott is also tied with Terry Labonte leading all active drivers with 24 top-10 finishes at the track. Elliott has led 22 Daytona races for a total of 599 laps, the most of all active drivers, and has failed to finish only six times in 52 races.

DAYTONA HIGHS

* Elliott has four wins at Daytona (1985a, 1987a, 1988b, 1991b), tying him for most among active drivers (J. Gordon, D. Jarrett). Elliott also leads all active drivers with five Bud Poles at Daytona. (1985a,b, 1986a, 1987a, 2001a)

YOU WANT FAST?

* Elliott holds the qualifying speed record at Daytona (210.364 mph, 42.783 sec.), which he set on February 9, 1987.

WAY BACK

* Elliott won the 1988 Pepsi 400 from the 38th starting position, which is the deepest in the field that a Daytona race winner has started. It also marks the most positions Elliott has ever made up to win a NASCAR race.

MOST RECENT RUN AT DAYTONA

* In the 2003 Daytona 500, rain was a factor all day causing the race to be red-flagged and called on lap 109. Elliott started the race 14th after finishing eighth in the second 125-qualifying race. (He placed 12th in Monday's qualifying session with a lap time of 48.797 seconds.) The No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge started out the first 40 laps of the race in the top-five. By lap seven, Elliott was sitting comfortably in fifth place. On lap 34, he pulled his No. 9 Dodge into the pits for two tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment by the Dodge Squad. He was in second place until a caution flag for a spin by the No. 18 car brought him into the pits for service. While on pit road, he was tapped by another car coming in for service. Elliott was forced to come back into the pits to pull the fenders off his tires. The race was eventually red flagged on lap 109 with Elliott in 32nd place.

TWO WEEKS AGO

* Two weeks ago, Elliott continued his hot streak in the state of California at the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. After starting the race in 12th place, Elliott reported loose conditions to start the race. During the team's first pit stop on lap 32, team director Mike Ford and the Dodge Squad made an air pressure and trackbar adjustment. Elliott pitted under green flag conditions and restarted in 16th place. Less than 20 laps later, a caution for debris was displayed, but Elliott stayed out despite reporting still slightly loose conditions. On lap 63, he brought his No. 9 Dodge in for service for the second time and took another air pressure and trackbar adjustment. The changes paid off as Elliott began to make up ground. As the rest of the field began to cycle through their pit stops, Elliott worked his way into the top five. He stayed there for the rest of the race, finishing in fourth. He moved up a spot in the Winston Cup points race to 19th, gaining valuable ground. Elliott is just 20 points out of the next spot and 235 points out of the top 10.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Terry Labonte