Joliet: Bill Elliott preview

Bill Elliott No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T THOUGHTS ON CHICAGO "I like Chicago. We had a good little run there last time. The track was nice. Everyone still compares it to Kansas, but it's not that different than Michigan or Las Vegas for...

Bill Elliott
No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T

THOUGHTS ON CHICAGO

"I like Chicago. We had a good little run there last time. The track was nice. Everyone still compares it to Kansas, but it's not that different than Michigan or Las Vegas for that matter. The backstretch is a little different here. There's a curve in it. I kind of like it. It helps you get into three better. It's pretty fast. I'm sure that it'll be a little different this time around. We'll just have to wait and see."

RUNNING AT CHICAGO

"Just like every other track, you've got to be hooked up here. You have to have the total package to get around. I think we'll be decent. We ran well here for the first time last year. We've been pretty consistent week in and week out. That's what we need to be. Mike (Ford, crew chief) and the guys just keep chipping away at it. That's what we need to do to keep moving forward."

RACE NOTES

The No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T will be cooking on the track this weekend with the Swedish Chef. One of the characters from Jim Henson Studios, the Swedish Chef will get the ride of his life at Chicagoland Speedway with Bill Elliott behind the wheel. The special paint scheme is a partnership between Action Performance Group, Jim Henson Studios and various race teams including Evernham Motorsports.

STATS & FACTS

* Last year, in the inaugural race at Chicagoland Speedway, Bill Elliott was among the fastest cars all weekend, from the first practice on Thursday to the checkered flag Sunday afternoon. Racing the same car he drove to a ninth place finish at Michigan four weeks prior to Chicago, Elliott started the race in the fourth position. He ran most of the race with the top 15 cars, moving as high as seventh before a late-race shuffling of the field gave him a 10th place finish for the day.

* Last weekend at Daytona, Bill Elliott kept his No. 9 Dodge Intrepid R/T out of trouble throughout the race. Elliott started the race in 14th place. He spent of the first half of the 160-lap race moving with the draft to various positions on the track. Drafting with teammate Jeremy Mayfield in the closing stages of the race, Elliott was charging toward the front of the field when an incident involving the No. 12 car brought the caution out and sent Elliott scrambling on the track to avoid the accident. The race ended under caution with Elliott in the 17th spot.

* Elliott's No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T has led laps in four of the past five races (17 at Dover, 26 at Pocono, 31 at Michigan, three at Sears Point). He has led in six races this year for a total of 94 laps. Elliott led nine races in 2001 for a total of 171 laps.

* Elliott looks even better in his No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T than he did at this point last year. Elliott ranks ten spots higher, is finishing an average of more than six spots better in each race, and has one more pole, one more top-five and four more top-10s than he did after 17 races in 2001. Currently, Elliott ranks ninth in the points race just nine points out of eighth place and 134 points out of fifth.

* Elliott's second-place finish at Dover was his 300th career top-10 finish in 26 years of Winston Cup racing. Elliott has seven top-10s through the first 17 races in 2002. In 2001 Elliott earned nine top-10s. He earned a career-high 24 top-10s in 30 races in 1984, finishing third in the points standings.

* Elliott's second place finish at Dover was also his second top five in 2002 and his best finish since his Nov. 11th victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway last year. He led twice for 17 laps, earning five bonus points and helping him make up valuable ground in the Winston Cup points race.

* Elliott's pole position this year at Texas was his second of the year (Atlanta), and third in the span of 10 races - dating back to the November 11 race at Homestead/Miami last year. It was Elliott's 53rd career Bud Pole in 668 Winston Cup races, placing him third behind David Pearson (57) and Darrell Waltrip (59) in Modern-era Winston Cup career poles (Elliott ranks first among active drivers).

-em-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Darrell Waltrip