Kansas City: Bill Elliott preview

Bill Elliott No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T COMMENT ON RACING AT KANSAS "I like Kansas. I tend to like that kind of race track. It's very similar to Chicago and a lot like Kentucky. The lay out at Kansas suits me too. I just really like it....

Bill Elliott No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T

COMMENT ON RACING AT KANSAS

"I like Kansas. I tend to like that kind of race track. It's very similar to Chicago and a lot like Kentucky. The lay out at Kansas suits me too. I just really like it. We had a good run going there for awhile last year so we're looking forward to going back."

HOW WILL THE RACETRACK BE DIFFERENT THIS YEAR

"Usually the race tracks when they get a year under their belts, the racing gets better. A new surface and a hard tire is hard to race on. It's just like Chicago. We were able to make up a couple of extra grooves there and the racing got a lot better from the first time out. That's typical for all these race tracks. As the track gets a little age on it, it gets better."

IS THE DODGE AT A DISADVANTAGE?

"I can't tell you who's at a disadvantage, but to help argue the point, yeah, they (Dodge) are at a disadvantage. It seems like the Ford stuff right now on a short track has a little bit of an advantage for whatever reason - whether it's motor combination or whatever..... We haven't had anything go our way, I'll put it that way. GM has had a change and why they aren't running better at this point in time, I can't answer that. Whether it's team or car related or how they act at a particular race track, I have no idea."

RACE NOTES

Bill Elliott will be driving the No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge that he won with at Pocono and Indianapolis. It was last raced at Michigan in August.

STATS & FACTS

* This week, Bill Elliott comes to Kansas Speedway looking to finish the strong race that he started in 2001. In the inaugural Protection One 400 last September he put his No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T in the number three starting spot and moved into the lead by the 23rd lap. Elliott led for 33 laps before engine troubles forced him out of the race on lap 134. He finished 40th on the day.

* Elliott has excelled on NASCAR's speedways this year. Each of his 11 top-10 finishes in 2002 have come on tracks at least one mile in length. Eight of those top-10 finishes were earned on racetracks 1.5 miles or greater. Elliott's two victories have come on two of the circuit's 2.5-mile tracks.

* Last weekend at Dover, Elliott started the day in the eighth spot and maintained a top-10 position for the first 100 laps of the 400-lap event. But, the same No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T that he drove to a second place finish in the spring Dover race began to develop handling problems, which soon sent him deeper in the field. He finished the day 18th, two laps down from the leader.

* Elliott's No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T has led laps in five of the past nine races (35 at Pocono, 93 at Indianapolis, six at Michigan, 43 at Darlington, and one at New Hampshire). He has led in 11 races this year for a total of 272 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 five spots higher, is finishing nearly five spots better in each race, and has two more wins, three more poles, one more top-five and three more top-10s than he did after 28 races in 2001. Currently, Elliott sits in ninth place in the Winston Cup points race, 67 points out of fifth and 257 points from the lead.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott