Elliott Hopes to Keep Wind In His Sails From Chicago to Loudon LOUDON, N.H., (July 18, 2001) - Blowing in from a top 10 finish in the Windy City, Bill Elliott knows that he'll need more than a strong gust to produce similar results this weekend...
Elliott Hopes to Keep Wind In His Sails From Chicago to Loudon
LOUDON, N.H., (July 18, 2001) - Blowing in from a top 10 finish in the Windy City, Bill Elliott knows that he'll need more than a strong gust to produce similar results this weekend at the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.
The driver of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T is gaining momentum, with three top 10 finishes in the last five races. But, New Hampshire has been challenging for Elliott. It is one of only three tracks on the Winston Cup circuit where he has competed at least 12 times without a victory. With his fourth place start and 10th finish last week, Elliott earned his best start/finish combination since taking the pole and finishing fifth in the Daytona 500.
Bill Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T
What is your outlook on New Hampshire?
"We just haven't got the New Hampshire Speedway figured out yet. We've had a little bit of bad luck there, and that's made it one of my least favorite places to go. We've just never had a good consistent run. Last year was a restrictor plate race, so that was a little different. This year, it's not, so that should help. It's your typical flat track. If you can get hooked up, it's pretty good. You've just got to get the car handling right so it's not loose off. There are some pretty good places to eat up there, so maybe we'll go get some crab legs while we're there.
"We'll go to New Hampshire and work hard and maybe Mike (crew chief Ford) and I can come up with something that'll work. Qualifying is going to be interesting with just one lap, so we'll just have to see what happens. It's always nice to start up front, so that's what we'll try to do. We qualified fourth last week at Chicago and finished 10th. If we can improve just a little on our start and a little more on our finish, we'll be in good shape."
What are your thoughts on your performance this season?
"So far this year I feel like we've handled well and we've stayed pretty consistent in our starts and finishes. We've just got to keep nipping at it. They say track position is everything, and that's true to a degree, but you've got to maintain it, too. We've got to get a little better motor-wise and handling-wise. The challenge is that when we make a gain, everybody else makes a gain. We gain five, and they gain 10. We've got a lot of work to do but we'll be okay."
Bill Elliott By the Numbers
* In 12 starts at New Hampshire, Elliott has three top 10s and one top five finish. His best finish at the track came at the 1999 Jiffy Lube 300, where Elliott took a 40th place start and turned it up to a fifth place finish.
* Elliott and the No. 9 team have earned three top 10 finishes in their last five races. They finished ninth at Michigan and Sears Point, and 10th last weekend at Chicagoland.
* This will be Elliott's 642nd start in a NASCAR Winston Cup points event. If he makes every race, his 650th start will be when he returns to New Hampshire International Speedway for the Kmart/DuraLube 300 on September 16th.
* Bill Elliott ranks 19th in the points standings. He has remained within the top 10 for half of the season, and within the top 20 for the entire year. His average start is 13th and his average finish is 21st. With $1,616,41 in earnings, (excluding non-point events) Elliott leads all Dodge drivers with money earned this season.
* Finishing ninth at the inaugural Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland puts Elliott in a list of 12 drivers who have competed in all eight inaugural Winston Cup races since 1988. Elliott is one of three drivers who has posted five top 10 finishes in those eight inaugural races, the most of all drivers.