Bill Elliott, driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion, isn't entered in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, but he's still playing a big part as a substitute driver for Paul Menard and Carl Edwards in today's two practice sessions.
Bill Elliott, driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion, isn't entered in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, but he's still playing a big part as a substitute driver for Paul Menard and Carl Edwards in today's two practice sessions. Elliott spoke about what he's trying to accomplish between practices at Infineon Raceway.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON GETTING TO RUN THE 98 AND 99 CARS IN PRACTICE TODAY? "When Sammy (Johns) asked me to come out here and do this it was like, 'I like Sonoma.' I love this race track, for whatever reason, and I like road racing, but just to come out here and get in somebody else's car and just do practice is tough. For me, it's just trying to help them information-wise with things like fuel mileage and other stuff that you don't have to run killer lap times to understand. You just go out there and run a pace, and that's what we're trying to do. That's what I told Slugger. I said, 'I'm gonna go out there and I'll run as hard as I can and we'll just try to figure things out.' I wasn't gonna try to bonsai anything because I'm a little rusty at road racing, but I'm more than happy to do it. These guys work hard and I'm just trying to give them a good effort. I enjoy it and I'm just having a good time with this stuff."
YOU HAVE YOUR MOTORCRAFT HELMET, MENARDS SUIT, BUT THEN YOU GET IN THE 99 AND TAKE THAT FOR A FEW LAPS. "Yeah, I didn't have my Aflac suit, but the 99 was on a different agenda. They were just gonna run it out of gas, so it was just making laps. Ironically, I fit in both cars real well. They didn't have to change belts or steering wheel position or anything, but what's a little difficult is your pedal situation because every driver likes to be a little bit different on their brake, clutch and gas - and just trying to get all the pedal stuff right has taken a little bit because Paul's car is quite a bit different than Carl's car. But just to step in and do it, I'm having a good time. It's good stuff."
BUT YOU STILL HAVE TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK. WAS THERE ANYTHING IN THAT SESSION WHERE YOU FEEL YOU HELPED THEM PERFORMANCE-WISE? "We made some rear spring adjustments and I feel like that helped the car, and it's just feedback and what I felt the car was doing. We went out and basically ran it out of gas at the end of that practice (in the 98) and gave some feedback on where I felt the brakes were balance-wise. It's just FYI because Paul might brake a little different than I do, or downshift a little different than I do and that's just feedback for those guys. All I know is I'm having a lot of fun."
-source: ford racing