RICHMOND, VA. (September 8, 2001)-- Bill Elliott, in the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T, finished 17th, and Casey Atwood drove his No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T to a 27th place finish in Saturday's Winston Cup race at Richmond International...
RICHMOND, VA. (September 8, 2001)-- Bill Elliott, in the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T, finished 17th, and Casey Atwood drove his No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T to a 27th place finish in Saturday's Winston Cup race at Richmond International Raceway.
Elliott spent the evening picking his way through the field after starting 37th. The No. 9 Dodge Intrepid R/T was running in the top 15 past the midway point of the race until an incident on lap 362. Elliott was forced to come in for repairs to the right front, but the No. 9 crew worked quickly to repair the damage, keeping the car on the lead lap.
Elliott finished 17th, earning 112 points. He gains another position in the Winston Cup points race and currently sits in 13th place. He is one of two drivers who has completed every race this season without a DNF.
"I just kind of survived," said Elliott. "Somebody checked up there at the end, and I hit Dave Blaney in the back hard. It was just one of them deals. We weren't that good tonight, but we weren't that bad, either. We'll try again next week."
Atwood, who was the highest qualifying rookie, started in the seventh spot and kept his Dodge Intrepid R/T running in the top 10 for the first half of the race. A problem with the clutch during a pit stop on lap 167 put the No. 19 three laps down. Atwood would spend the rest of the evening trying to make up ground, eventually working his way to a 27th place finishing spot.
Atwood currently sits 31st in points and remains third in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race, 25 points out of second place. "We really didn't have a bad car," said Atwood. "We hung out in the top 10 there for awhile. The clutch just went out on us. It had been going down on me and then it went out on that pit stop and it fell off on the jack and stalled and it wouldn't crank back up. Just a bunch of stuff happened at one time and we got some laps down. We think we learned a lot. The track was a lot different this time then it was the last time. Maybe we can come back here and have another good run."
"It was a rough night," said team owner Ray Evernham. "Bill did a great job. He and Mike (Ford) coming from the back got tangled up in somebody else's crash and Casey, we just had mechanical problems. The clutch went out on the pit stop and fell off the jack and cost us three laps. On Casey's part, it's new team blues and on Bill's part it's just bad luck. You just have to make the best you can out of it and keep going forward."