Kansas: Bill Elliott preview

KANSAS "We've had another year of racing on the track, so that tends to create more grooves and that makes for better racing. Kansas is a lot like Chicago. They all have their little differences, but they're similar. A lot of people call them ...

KANSAS

"We've had another year of racing on the track, so that tends to create more grooves and that makes for better racing. Kansas is a lot like Chicago. They all have their little differences, but they're similar. A lot of people call them cookie cutter tracks, but I wouldn't say that just because there's always something that's a little different about each one. I don't know what it is about it, but I just tend to favor these kinds of tracks."

UPCOMING RACES

"We're just happy to get out of Talladega the way we did. We've got to focus now on the rest of the season and what we need to do to keep our Dodge up front. We've had some decent runs at Kansas. We just need to keep that momentum going. The way the competition is these days it's difficult. Things are so close. We're talking thousandths of seconds separating the field, and you've got to be on your game."

RACE NOTES

Bill Elliott is scheduled to drive chassis No. 30, which he drove to all three of his Evernham Motorsports victories: Homestead 2001, Indianapolis 2002, and Pocono(b) 2002. Elliott has run this chassis this year at Pocono(a), Michigan(b) and Indianapolis.

Elliott's No. 9 Dodge, along with Jeremy Mayfield's No. 19 Dodge will feature special paint schemes displaying characters from the Disney animated movie, The Lion King. The movie's title character, Simba, will accompany Elliott on the No. 9 Dodge Intrepid and Simba's life-long friends, Timon and Pumbaa, will ride with Mayfield's No. 19 Dodge Intrepid. The special paint scheme celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Dodge Caravan and the Oct. 7 DVD release of the highest grossing animated film ever, The Lion King. When consumers buy the DVD they also receive a coupon for $500 toward the purchase of a Dodge Caravan.

Elliott and the Dodge Squad tested at Kansas last week.

STATS & FACTS

CAREER AT KANSAS

This weekend's race will mark Elliott's third start at Kansas. He has one top-five, one top-10 and has led 36 laps at the racetrack. His best start at Kansas is third (2001), while his best finish is fifth (2002). Elliott's 4.0 average starting position is best among drivers who have made both starts at Kansas. He is the only driver to have earned two top-five starts at the racetrack.

TOP-FIVE RUNS

Bill Elliott's fourth-place run at New Hampshire(b) was his fifth top-five of 2003. Elliott earned his sixth and final top-five of 2002 by finishing fifth at Kansas. The last time Elliott earned more than six top-fives in a season was 1992 (14).

WINSTON CUP SERIES POINTS RACE

Elliott's 13th place finish at Talladega allowed him to gain valuable ground in the Winston Cup points race. He maintains his hold on 15th place but is just 37 points out of the next position and 194 out of the top-10.

MOST RECENT RUN AT KANSAS

Elliott started the 2002 Kansas race in fifth place. He moved up immediately in the opening laps and was in third place by the third lap. Three cautions within the first 30 laps didn't slow Elliott's momentum in the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge. He passed the No. 8 car for second on lap 26. Throughout the first half of the race, Elliott fluctuated through the top-10 based on pit stop calls by other teams including fuel only and two/four tires. Elliott reported few problems with his No. 9 Dodge Intrepid, and on lap 142 he won the race off pit road to take the lead. On lap 152, Elliott was forced to bring his Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge in for minor repairs to his front fender to prevent it from rubbing the tire. The move sent him to the 22nd spot. Elliott wasted no time moving through the field and on lap 233 he had returned to the fifth position. Despite a red flag with less than 10 laps to go, Elliott held onto the fifth spot.

LAST WEEKEND

Bill Elliott, no stranger to Talladega's winners circle and record book, started Sunday's event in his No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge from ninth place. He fluctuated, like most of the field, with the draft throughout the race. The Dodge Squad's biggest adjustment of the day was a radio change on their first pit stop, when the team discovered they could communicate with Elliott, but he couldn't relay information back to them. They successfully replaced the radio and sent Elliott on his way with two tires and fuel. Mike Ford used two-tire calls throughout most of the day. Elliott shuffled through the field and on lap 144 he found himself at the front of the competition during a cycle of pit stops, earning valuable points in the Winston Cup points race. With fewer than 10 laps to go, the field was red flagged for an on-track incident, creating a wild six-lap lap shootout with the 24 cars on the lead lap. Elliott was able to avoid any incidents and advanced his position dramatically in the closing laps.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeremy Mayfield