Ford Racing Preseason Thunder January 14, 2008 Daytona International Speedway Bill Elliott is testing the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford Fusion this week in preparation for next month's Daytona 500, and will be running a limited schedule for...
January 14, 2008
Daytona International Speedway
Bill Elliott is testing the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford Fusion this week in preparation for next month's Daytona 500, and will be running a limited schedule for the team in 2008. Elliott spoke about his schedule between testing sessions on Monday at Daytona International Speedway.
BILL ELLIOTT -- No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford Fusion
DO YOU HAVE THE PERFECT RACING LIFE RIGHT NOW AS FAR AS PICKING YOUR OWN SCHEDULE? "When Len and Eddie asked me what I wanted to do I said that I really didn't know. They came back to me with an opportunity to run some and I just as soon run a good bit at the start and then let (Marcos) Ambrose and Jon (Wood) run as time goes on here. I kind of like that plan -- let's get started and run a little bit. But, really, it is a perfect world for me and I can't argue with it. I kind of want to get back to working with Chase. He's been racing this winter in a Winter Flurry Series with the Bandoleros and the Legends. We've been trying to run all of those races and if he races some this summer, it makes it pretty hectic. I just want to try to devote as much time to him and doing that, especially when the summer gets here."
YOU'VE WON THE DAYTONA 500 TWICE, SO WHAT DOES THIS PLACE MEAN TO YOU? "It is exciting to be a part of the history of this race track. I didn't run Talladega with the COT car, so I've got a good bit of a learning curve from that standpoint, but Daytona is Daytona. It's so much different than Talladega. The race track has a lot of character and it's such a unique place. I enjoy running here. I don't mind this race track."
ARE YOUR TWO WINS HERE THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS AND MEANINGFUL OF YOUR CAREER? "If you add those two and probably Indy. Daytona is what stock car racing is and there are no ifs, ands or buts. But then I kind of look at Indy and even though it doesn't mean as much from a stock car racing standpoint, in terms of racing history overall it means so much because it's been around for over 100 years. So when you look at it from that standpoint, it's two totally different worlds. But to me, for the stock car world, Daytona is where it is."
David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 Yates Racing Ford Fusion, sat on the pole for last year's Daytona 500, which was his debut at the speedway. He spoke about the upcoming season and what his expectations are for 2008.
DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 38 Yates Racing Ford Fusion
HOW DO YOU VIEW THE UPCOMING SEASON? "We're really excited. I feel very positive about the 2008 season for us. We're working with Cully Barraclough, my new crew chief, and we've worked together in the past before and worked really well together. I'm really excited about that and really excited about the new opportunity at Yates Racing. I think we've been building some cars that are really gonna perform well for us this year, and I'm real excited about that. But as far as Daytona, last year coming here at the beginning of the year was the highlight of my career. It's always gonna have a special place in my heart and it feels good coming back here. We've had success here and some of our best finishes, so it's always a place I look forward coming to."
IS THERE STRESS THAT NO SPONSOR IS IN PLACE, OR AS THE DRIVER DO YOU JUST CONCENTRATE ON THE CAR AND THAT WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF? "Yeah. That's what they're telling me to do, but there's always stress. I'm sure everybody is a little bit stressed out about it, but I feel if we go out and perform well, the rest will take care of itself. I feel like we definitely have a good team and the cars to be able to go out and do that."
HOW HAVE THINGS GONE SO FAR HERE? "I'm very happy with the way we were able to unload. Our teammate, Travis Kvapil, came down last week and had a great test. We're working more as a team now than we ever had and that's so very important, and to be able to come down here and unload -- the cars driver great, so I'm excited and looking forward to getting into some drafting and seeing how the car performs in the draft."
DID IT HELP TO HAVE TRAVIS HERE LAST WEEK? WERE YOU ABLE TO LEARN ANYTHING FROM HIM THAT WILL HELP YOU THIS WEEK? "They definitely learned some stuff being down here for three days and hopefully we can learn some stuff this next three and go back and help them, too. That's the idea of a team and we're definitely working in that direction. I'm excited, like I said, and I'm looking forward to coming back here for the race."
HOW FAR BACK DO YOU AND CULLY GO? "Cully worked on my dad's team in 1999 or 2000. My dad has Ralph's as a sponsor in the Winston West Series and Cully worked over there and we've kept in good contact. He helped me on my late model back then and we've kept in close contact. He's helped me on and off. Even on my West car, when I raced on the west coast, I'd call him and get some information from him and he'd help. Then he went over and helped us on our Busch team at Clay Andrews Racing, which was pretty awesome of him to do considering some of the teams he had worked for in the past. He's always just had that much faith in me and, as a driver, that feels really good to have that in your corner."
-credit: ford racing