Pocono: Bill Elliott preview

UPDATE ON INJURED FOOT "Right now we're looking at several options (for Sunday's race at Pocono). I have been able to right-foot brake in the past at some places, but it's not the normal way of what I'm looking for. To have driven as long as I...


"Right now we're looking at several options (for Sunday's race at Pocono). I have been able to right-foot brake in the past at some places, but it's not the normal way of what I'm looking for. To have driven as long as I have and try to change all of a sudden, as competitive as things are today, you just can't up and change what you're doing in the middle of the stream. It's difficult to do, and I've not been able to do it. ... You do a lot of shifting and a lot of different stuff at Pocono. It's not hardly as bad as Sears Point or Watkins Glen, but it's a long day because it's a 500-mile race. Right now I don't know what we're going to do, whether we try to look at it when we get there or what. I'll know more tomorrow (Wednesday). I've got a doctor's appointment tomorrow. He's going to re-X-ray my foot and see where it is. The last X-ray showed the same as the one before, which they tell me X-rays lag behind until your bones kind of bridge together and that shows a sign of healing. I've not seen that yet, but I'll know more when I go see the X-ray tomorrow.


"I can remember the first time I went there (Pocono) in '76. It was a lot of fun. I went up there and didn't have a clue as to what I was doing. They've done a lot there, and I enjoy racing there."


"As far as Bill's situation, we're obviously concerned. Our big push is to make sure we get Bill healthy for the second half of the season. Pocono is a very physically demanding track, and we're very concerned about the progress he's made with the broken bones. We'll know more about that tomorrow, but we are going to have ARCA champion Frank Kimmel standing by at Pocono for Bill."


Bill Elliott is scheduled to drive chassis No. 30, which he ran last year at Pocono(a), Indianapolis and the 2001 Homestead-Miami race. Elliott drove this car to victory in all three events. Four-time ARCA RE/Max Series Champion, Frank Kimmel, will be on hand at Pocono Raceway this weekend in the event that the No. 9 team needs a replacement driver.


This will be Elliott's 43rd career start at Pocono Raceway. He has a total of five wins, five poles, 14 top-fives and 22 top-10 finishes at the track. Elliott has led 21 Pocono races for a total of 425 laps led at the track.


Elliott's five victories at Pocono are more than any other driver in NASCAR history - 1985(a,b) 1988(b), 1989(b) and 2002(b). His five poles at the track tie him for most of any driver - 1984(b), 1985(a,b), 1995(b) and 2002(b). Elliott's 14 top-fives at Pocono give him the second most on the circuit. His 22 top-10s tie him for the second-most top-10s at the track.


Elliott's victory in the 2002 fall race at Pocono was his 42nd career win, and his 15th (and most recent) win from the pole position. Elliott has collected more wins from the pole position than any other active driver. He ranks ninth all-time in races won from the pole. Elliott's victory was also the first Dodge win at Pocono Raceway since Richard Petty won the 1976 Purolator 400.


Only eight Pocono races have been won from the pole position, and Bill Elliott has done it twice - 1985(a) and 2002(b). Elliott earned a third "unofficial" win from the pole at Pocono resulting from a victory from the second starting position in the fall race of 1985. Elliott was officially awarded the pole 2 ½ weeks after that victory when tests showed that the original pole winner had used an illegal fuel in his car.


Elliott is one of only four drivers to sweep both races at Pocono in the 20 years that the racetrack has hosted two Winston Cup Series events in the same year.


Elliott, who made his 606th career Winston Cup start during the 2000 Pocono 500, became one of only seven Winston Cup drivers to reach the 700-start mark when he qualified 25th at Darlington this year. This weekend's race will mark his 709th career Winston Cup Series start. If he continues to start every race of the 2003 season, Elliott will surpass Bobby Allison to rank sixth on the all-time start list in the fall race at Michigan Int'l Speedway. Currently, Elliott ranks third in overall starts among active drivers.

POCONO RACE NOTES EVENT START FINISH STATU S LAPS LED NOTES 2001 Pocono 500 23 27 Running 0 - 2001 Pennsylvania 500 14 4 Running 1 - 2002 Pocono 500 9 39 Engine 26 13th DNF at Pocono - most of active drivers 2002 Pennsylvania 500 1 1 Running 35 42nd career win, 55th career pole position


In last fall's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono, Elliott's No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid was fast from the start. A caution on the second lap of the race brought out a one-hour red flag delay for repairs to the guard rail on the inside of the track. When the green flag waved again, Elliott assumed and kept the lead from laps 10-25. A pit stop on lap 26 put Elliott in eighth place after various pit stop calls by other teams. On the next lap, rain forced the second red flag of the day. When the field re-fired their engines on lap 27, Elliott wasted no time in cycling through the stops and defending his position among the leaders. He would spend the remainder of the race maintaining and defending the second position. NASCAR's call to shorten the 200 lap race by 25 laps due to reoccurring inclement weather forced some fast recalculating by the Dodge Squad, but crew chief Mike Ford and his team including engine tuner Mike Hawkins and engineers Kenny Francis and Derek Jones, made the right calls and kept Elliott with valuable track position. Elliott reassumed the lead on lap 157 and held on to capture his 42nd career win.


While preparing for last weekend's MBNA Armed Forces Family 400, Elliott worked to get comfortable with his protective footgear. His foot continues to heal and the Dodge Squad continues to work hard, finding ways to make him comfortable in his No. 9 Dodge. Elliott battled tight conditions throughout most of Sunday's race, especially when caught in traffic. The Dodge Squad continued its fast work in the pits, often gaining spots on pit road. Team Director Mike Ford continued to look for ways to help the handling of Elliott's car using wedge, rubber and air pressure adjustments throughout the day to help Elliott get through the center of the corners better. Elliott managed to complete his second Winston Cup race with a broken foot without losing substantial ground in the points race. He currently sits in 22nd place, just 30 points out of 20th place and 178 out of the top 10.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Frank Kimmel , Richard Petty , Bobby Allison , Derek Jones