Everham Motorsports Michigan II post-race report

The Dodge Intrepid R/Ts' Of Evernham Motorsports Make Bold Runs At Michigan International Speedway BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 19, 2001)--Emblazoned with Dodge Ram trucks bursting through the hood of their race cars, Bill Elliott in the No. 9 Dodge...

The Dodge Intrepid R/Ts' Of Evernham Motorsports Make Bold Runs At Michigan International Speedway

BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 19, 2001)--Emblazoned with Dodge Ram trucks bursting through the hood of their race cars, Bill Elliott in the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T and Casey Atwood in the No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T finished third and tenth for Evernham Motorsports at Michigan International Speedway.

Elliott's Dodge Intrepid R/T grabbed life by the horns in a race shortened by rain. Starting from the outside pole, Elliott led the race on the first lap. He would lead five times for the most laps- 57 out of 162. Elliott was in the second spot when rain brought out the red flag on lap 100. On the restart he moved into the top spot until Sterling Marlin, in the #40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T, took the lead on lap 145. Marlin would stay there until rain ended the race on lap 162, giving Dodge its first win since 1977. Elliott finished in the third spot. It is his best finish of the season. He remains 16th in Winston Cup points.

"I am happy for Sterling," said Elliott. "He deserved it. They ran well all day. We just couldn't do it when it counted."

Mike Ford, crew chief for the No. 9 Dodge Intrepid R/T said, "That's the best finish of the year and the best finish for Evernham Motorsports. We're eight months old and battling for wins. I don't know of a whole lot of other teams that are brand new that can say that. We wanted to win. We wanted to win badly. We've got a good group of guys here, and Bill has really done a great job for us. You can't say enough about him. We're pleased but when you're that close to winning it makes you try even harder."

Elliott's top five was complimented by teammate Casey Atwood's top 10 run. The driver of the No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T started sixth and finished 10th. Atwood stayed in the top five for most of the race. Following the red flag restart, Atwood fought to maintain his position, battling lap traffic to finish 10th. It was the best finish of the year for Atwood who was the top qualifying rookie. He also was the top- finishing rookie, earning him the Raybestos Rookie of the Race award. He is currently 32nd in Winston Cup points.

"To tell you the truth, I'm disappointed as can be," said Atwood. "I do feel good because we got a top 10, but I felt like we had a top five car all day long, and we couldn't clinch it at the end. I made a few mistakes. I felt like the car was a little bit worse that last run. Everybody else picked up a bit, but I think the rain hurt us. That last caution just killed us. I would have liked for it to go green the whole time. We probably could have gotten a top five, but it's a big confidence booster. We had a good run. I always struggle here so it feels good to come here and have a strong run."

As an associate sponsor on the Dodge Intrepid R/Ts of Evernham Motorsports, Tim Bressler, UAW/NTC NASCAR Operations said, "The UAW/National Training Center has a long-term commitment with Evernham Motorsports and we are pleased with the results thus far this season. This weekend's qualifying and race results from Bill and Casey has everyone excited about what's to come in the future."

-EM-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Sterling Marlin , Casey Atwood