Long Pond II: Bill Elliott preview

Bill Elliott No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T RUNNING AT POCONO "We've had some pretty decent runs at Pocono. We had some trouble last time we were here. We were having a really good run, but that's just what happens. You just have to take it...

Bill Elliott
No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T

"We've had some pretty decent runs at Pocono. We had some trouble last time we were here. We were having a really good run, but that's just what happens. You just have to take it and move on. We should be pretty good this time too. I don't think we have too much that we'll change. It rained last time and we didn't get to qualify, so we'll have to wait and see what we've got for that. We got the pole last weekend and we really weren't expecting that, so you just never know. We were pretty close here last time, so we should be alright."

"I've said this all along that this is a total team effort. That pole last week was all the guys working on that car from the minute they unloaded it. I just got in the car and drove it. Those guys just don't give up. Last weekend we weren't that fast in final practice but the guys worked and changed a bunch of things on the Dodge and we had a pretty good race car to start the race."


* Vince Valeriano, spotter and shock specialist, grew up in the Pocono area. He was born and attended school in Reading, PA.


* This will be Elliott's 42nd start at Pocono Raceway. Elliott's four wins at Pocono tie him for most among active drivers, and his four pole positions at the track are one shy of tying him for the all-time pole record of five. He also has nine top-fives and 15 top-10s at the track. Elliott earned his most recent Pocono victory from the pole position in the spring race of 1992. He earned his most recent pole position at the track in the fall race of 1997.

* Last weekend at the New England 300, after rolling off first, Elliott spent the first 36 laps in the top three. On lap 37, his car lost power and he was forced to come in to fix the problem. The Dodge Squad changed carburetors and sent Elliott back out, 13 laps down. Elliott spent the remainder of the race making up ground. He would shave off four laps on the deficit, finishing in 34th place.

* Elliott set the fastest time in the qualifying session for the New England 300. It was Elliott's third Bud pole of the season. He is tied with Jimmie Johnson for the most poles this season. Elliott is six poles away from breaking the all-time modern era pole record.

* In the June race at Pocono, Elliott started in ninth place. The field was set by owners points due to ground water seepage on the track prior to the qualifying session. Elliott immediately moved up from a top 10 spot into the top five in the early stages of the race. He would spend most of the day alternating between the third and top spot. He took the lead on lap 92 and stayed there until caution on lap 117 brought the leaders into the pits. On lap 167, caution brought the leaders in again. Most of the cars from fifth place on back took two tires. The No. 9 Dodge Intrepid R/T took four, which moved Elliott into the 12th spot. It, however, was the correct call as Elliott made up ground as the other car's tires began to"fall off." Elliott clearly had a car to contend for the lead, as his lap times showed. His run ended on lap 179 when a mechanical problem ended another notable run. He finished 30th.

* Elliott's No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T has led laps in four of the past seven races (17 at Dover, 26 at Pocono, 31 at Michigan and three at Sears Point). He has led in seven races this year for a total of 95 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 nine spots higher, is finishing an average of six spots better in each race, and has two more poles, one more top-five and four more top-10s than he did after 18 races in 2001. Currently, Elliott sits in 10th place, just two points out of ninth and 173 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 19 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 also was 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.


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jimmie Johnson