ATLANTA, Ga., Nov. 19, 2000 -- In recognition of his contributions and dedication to the sport of NASCAR Winston Cup racing, Ford Motor Company today awarded Bill Elliott its prestigious @!Spirit of Ford Award in a special ceremony at the...
ATLANTA, Ga., Nov. 19, 2000 -- In recognition of his contributions and dedication to the sport of NASCAR Winston Cup racing, Ford Motor Company today awarded Bill Elliott its prestigious @!Spirit of Ford Award in a special ceremony at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The Spirit of Ford Award (formerly known as the Ford Special Achievement Award) is Ford's highest honor in auto racing, given to those who have made a significant lifetime contribution to the world of auto racing, both on and off the track. The award, a beautiful Steuben crystal eagle, was presented to Elliott by Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology and head of Ford's worldwide racing program.
"Even though Bill will be ending his racing relationship with us after today's race, it wouldn't be right to let him go without recognizing the sacrifice and loyalty he has displayed all these years to Ford Motor Company," said Davis.
"To be honest, our NASCAR program would not be where it is today without the contributions of Bill Elliott," continued Davis. "Bill, along with his brothers, Ernie and Dan, and their father, George, took a chance with us and their success in the mid-1980s helped prove that Ford teams could be successful in this series. As a result, the Ford roster of teams began to grow and much of that can be traced back to the accomplishments of Bill, especially that magical season of 1985 and the championship season in 1988.
"There have been a lot of stories recently referring to the deep loyalty Bill and his family have had for Ford throughout the years, but, from our standpoint, we will never be able to completely thank Bill for all he has done on our behalf," added Davis. "We wish him well and even though he may not be officially driving a Ford product on the track, he will always be considered part of our family." Elliott is the 17th recipient of the Spirit of Ford Award.