EMS post qualifying report

Elliott and Atwood Qualify in Top 20 for Food City 500 BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 23, 2001)-Bill Elliott and Casey Atwood put their two Evernham Motorsports Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/Ts solidly into the top half of the starting line up today for ...

Elliott and Atwood Qualify in Top 20 for Food City 500

BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 23, 2001)-Bill Elliott and Casey Atwood put their two Evernham Motorsports Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/Ts solidly into the top half of the starting line up today for Sunday's Food City 500. Elliott, who finished 36th here last year, ran a qualifying lap of 15.401 sec., 124.589 mph putting him 12th on the grid. Atwood, a rookie in this year's event ran a qualifying time of 15.423 sec., 124.412 mph placing him 16th.

"It was a fair run for here," said Bill Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T. "I'm happy we'll be pitting on the front row, it's a lot better than our run last year this time. I would've liked to start up front, but it just means we have a little more work to do. It usually doesn't matter where you start here, it matters where you finish."

Elliott has one victory, six top fives and 13 top 10 finishes at the Bristol Motor Speedway in 34 career starts. Mike Ford, crew chief for the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T, feels good about Elliott's qualifying run. "Any time you can be on the front straight at Bristol, you've done your days work," said Ford. "Last year in spring we struggled in qualifying and had to use a provisional, in the fall run we had to use a substitute driver because of Bill's knee injury. Overall we thought we were a little behind, but here we are in the top 20, and we're very pleased with that."

Casey Atwood, driver of the No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T, may be less familiar with the track than Elliott, but managed to keep his car in the top 20 for Sunday's race. "I think the engine was missing a bit for those runs, but I'm happy to be in the top 20 here at Bristol," said Atwood. "It's fun to have a lot of my home state fans here to cheer me on. I hope that I will able to come through for them. I never really considered Bristol my hometown track, but depending how I do on Sunday, that may change.

-EMS

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Casey Atwood