Richmond II: Bill Elliott preview

Bill Elliott No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T RUNNING AT RICHMOND "You're going from a mile and three-eighths (Darlington) to a three-quarter mile track (Richmond). To me, that's very little difference. We didn't run that well at the last...

Bill Elliott
No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T

RUNNING AT RICHMOND

"You're going from a mile and three-eighths (Darlington) to a three-quarter mile track (Richmond). To me, that's very little difference. We didn't run that well at the last race at Richmond. I think Mike (crew chief Ford) and the guys have expanded on our setup and hopefully we'll be better this time around. It's a raceable track and it's a pretty enjoyable Saturday night even though last time it turned into a Sunday afternoon."

POINTS RACE

"He (Jeff Gordon) is always the man to beat. Past history tells you that. Jeff is coming up on a good stretch and that team is really strong. If they don't have any bad luck, they'll be hard to beat. Sterling's got a good lead, too, so there's 11 races left to go. We've got to be a little bit better than we are all the way around. I think this team has progressed 1000 percent since last year. It seems like all the way across the board we've been a lot better. We've got to stay that way the next 11 races and we've got a lot of catching up to do. You've got to have extreme good luck and they've got to have bad luck. The odds of that happening and doing it race in and race out is pretty tough. Right now we're just concentrating on a race at a time and trying to get our stuff better so we can turn around and come in next year right off the bat and come in and run good in each and every race."

COMPETITION

"Last year we were decent at a place or two and bad at some places. This year we've got our consistency better. We're whittling away at it. We're running in the top five and top 10 and that's what it's going to take to stay competitive. Now they're kind of on a roll. They've got the momentum behind 'em. Looking at the races coming up, Jeff runs well at all of 'em coming up. Compare Sterling's record versus Jeff's record, but there again, you've got to have the luck. Eleven races with as many cars running as well as they are, you could gain or lose 100 points in a heartbeat in today's environment."

RACE NOTES

* Bill Elliott will drive the No. 9 Dodge Intrepid R/T that he drove in the season's first Richmond race.

STATS & FACTS

* This will be Elliott's 42nd start at Richmond Int'l Raceway. He has one win, three poles, eight top-fives and 15 top-10s at the track. Elliott is tied for most Bud Poles (three) among active drivers at Richmond.

* In his last visit to Richmond in May of 2002, Elliott started the race in 38th place but posted the biggest improvement of the day in finishing 14th.

* In last year's fall race at Richmond (September 2001), Elliott spent the evening picking his way through the field after starting 37th. The No. 9 Dodge Intrepid R/T was running in the top 15 past the midway point of the race until an incident on lap 362. Elliott was forced to come in for repairs to the right front, but the No. 9 crew worked quickly to repair the damage, keeping the car on the lead lap. Elliott finished 17th, earning 112 points.

* Elliott's No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T has led laps in eight of the past 13 races (17 at Dover, 26 in June at Pocono, 31 in June at Michigan, three at Sears Point, 35 in July at Pocono, 93 at Indianapolis, six in August at Michigan, and 43 last week in Darlington). He has led in 11 races this year for a total of 271 laps. Elliott led nine races in 2001 for a total of 171 laps.

* Elliott's win at Indianapolis was record-setting as no driver has won from the front row at the Brickyard 400.

* When Bill Elliott won the Pennsylvania 500, he became the all-time winningest driver at Pocono Raceway. Driving the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T, Elliott won his fifth race at the 2.5-mile track. It was also the first time this season that a driver has won from the pole.

* Elliott's second-place finish at Dover was his 300th career top-10 finish. Elliott has 11 top-10s through the first 29 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 wins at Pocono and Indianapolis were his best finishes since his Nov. 11th victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2001. He has 43 career victories in the Winston Cup Series.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon