Elliott Preseason Thunder test wrap-up

AFTER SUCCESSFUL TEST, ELLIOTT READY FOR BIG SHOW "If I'm sitting on the couch, I can't win the Daytona 500 again so at least I'm down here trying."     Bill Elliott DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 12, 2006) -- After shaking...

AFTER SUCCESSFUL TEST, ELLIOTT READY FOR BIG SHOW

"If I'm sitting on the couch, I can't win the Daytona 500 again so at least I'm down here trying."
    Bill Elliott

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 12, 2006) -- After shaking hands and thanking crew chief Frank Stoddard, the unpretentious Bill Elliott exited Daytona International Speedway Wednesday in the same quiet manner he entered the historic facility Monday to begin a three-day test session for the Daytona 500.

As Elliott was strolling to the parking lot he was asked to evaluate the team's performance and his No. 36 MB2 Motorsports Chevrolet. Though his response was short, it carried plenty of confidence. "Mission accomplished -- all systems go," said Elliott. "We're ready to come back here next month."

Elliott,who announced last week that he would drive for MB2in the Budweiser Shootout (Feb. 11) and Daytona 500 (Feb. 19), posted the fastest speed Monday and the second fastest Tuesday. In Wednesday's drafting practice on the 2.5-mile tri-oval he said he felt comfortable in the MB2-built car.

"I liked the way the car handled in the draft,"said Elliott. "It was just a nice-and-easy three days of testing."

Elliott, a two-time winner of the Daytona 500, has run a limited schedule the past two years. His last 500 appearance was in 2003.

"I like this place and I'm glad I am here." said Elliott. "If I'm sitting on the couch, I can't win the Daytona 500 again so at least I'm down here trying."

Stoddard,a 14-time winner as crew chief on the NASCAR Cup circuit,also gave high marks to the team's performance.

"It was a good test and Bill was a joy to work with," said Stoddard. "He gave us some good feedback in race-trim conditions. We had a good package from last year's stuff and fined tuned around that. I think we can come back here and qualify well."

Stoddard also noted that the productive test session was a result of the quality off-season work by the MB2 employees.

"The group effort paid off once again for us," explained Stoddard. "The guys back at the MB2 shop, the fabrication department and the Hendrick engine people worked hard during the off-season and that's why we have the results that we do. I think the 01 (Joe Nemechek) and the 14 (Sterling Marlin) will come down here next week and also do well.I feel that the three MB2 teams have the potential of making some noise during Speedweeks."

-mb2m-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Joe Nemechek , Sterling Marlin