Dover: Bill Elliott preview

Bill Elliott No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid RACING AT DOVER "I remember back when we ran Dover and it was asphalt. It kind of suited me better, but I've learned to adapt to the concrete. I've had some good runs there before. You want...

Bill Elliott
No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Intrepid


"I remember back when we ran Dover and it was asphalt. It kind of suited me better, but I've learned to adapt to the concrete. I've had some good runs there before. You want to qualify well there. We almost got the pole last year at this race. I don't know this time. We'll just have to wait and see."


"It's feeling okay. I'm still trying to get the hang of driving with the protective deal that the guys made for me. The guys did a good job this week on trying to make me comfortable. We'll just have to wait and see how practice goes on Friday."


"There's really no textbook answer for what we're going to do. We're going to start out doing what we did last weekend for Bill and see how he likes it. If we can modify or make things better than we will. Qualifying at Dover probably won't be as large of an issue as it was at Charlotte partly because he's had a week to adjust a little better to things. We're going to keep it as simple and straightforward as we can. I don't know how much the brake pedal and master cylinder modifications helped him. We just have to leave ourselves options and go by what Bill's feeling."


* Bill Elliott is scheduled to drive chassis No. 17, which he ran this year at Darlington and Rockingham. He drove this car to a high-finish of second in the spring race at Dover in 2002. The chassis was also run at Darlington (b), Dover (b), Loudon (b), Atlanta (b) and Rockingham (b) in 2002

* Evernham Motorsports announced that Ray Evernham is scheduled to run a Dodge in a Modified 12-lap shootout race against Martin Truex, Jr. at Wall Township Speedway on Saturday, May 31. The event is in support of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series


* This will be Elliott's 40th career start at Dover Int'l Speedway. He has a total of three poles, 12 top-fives and 19 top-10 finishes at the track. Elliott has led 15 Dover races for a total of 2,050 laps led at the track - one lap more than Jeff Gordon and most of any active driver. He has tallied only three DNF's at the racetrack.


* Elliott earned Dover victories in 1985(a), 1988 (a-b) and 1990 (b). His four wins at the track tie him for the most wins among active drivers (J. Gordon, R. Rudd). Elliott took the pole in the 1985 (b), 1987 (a) and 1990 (b) Dover events.


* Elliott set the Dover Int'l Speedway track record for fastest 500-mile race (125.945 mph, 3 hours, 19 minutes, 0 seconds) in 1990, winning the race from the pole position. Elliott is one of only seven drivers to win a race from the pole at Dover.


* Elliott is one of only eight drivers who have swept both Winston Cup races at Dover in the same year. He won from the third position in fall of 1998 and won from the 17th position in the spring race that year. Only five Dover races have been won from a starting position farther back than 17th.


* Elliott's second-place finish at Dover last spring was his 300th career top-10 finish in 26 years of Winston Cup racing.


* Elliott, who made his 604th career Winston Cup start during the 2000 MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover, became one of only seven Winston Cup drivers to reach the 700-start mark when he qualified 25th at Darlington this year. This weekend's race will mark his 708th career Winston Cup Series start. If he continues to start every race of the 2003 season, Elliott will surpass Bobby Allison to rank sixth on the all-time start list in the fall race at Michigan Int'l Speedway. Currently, Elliott ranks third in overall starts among active drivers.


* Last fall at Dover, Elliott started the day in the eighth spot and maintained a top-10 position for the first 100 laps of the 400-lap event. But, the same No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge that he drove to a second place finish in the spring Dover race began to develop handling problems, which soon sent him deeper in the field. He finished the day 18th, two laps down from the leader.


* Elliott, who was suffering from injuries sustained in last weekend's The Winston, showed his resolve throughout the weekend by remaining in his No. 9 Dodge. His broken foot was immobilized by several apparatuses including special insoles and a carbon fiber shell outfitted to the outside of his shoe to keep his foot from bending and causing more damage to the bones. Elliott spent the weekend adjusting to the design, which forced him to use his right foot to brake (a style he normally doesn't employ). He began the Sunday's event under partly sunny conditions, which caused his car to handle tight and loose in turns three and four. As the evening progressed, the Dodge Squad worked to correct the condition but continued to fight loose handling in turn three throughout the evening. Elliott was caught a lap down after caution came out during pit stop cycles. He fought to maintain his track position and the crew made a shock adjustment just before rain caused a red flag on lap 275 that eventually ended the event. Elliott sat in 26th place, losing four spots in the Winston Cup points race. He is in 23rd place, but is just 32 points out of the top 20.


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Martin Truex Jr. , Ray Evernham , Bobby Allison