Watkins Glen: Bill Elliott preview

Watkins Glen Preview ROAD COURSE RACING "I don't mind the road courses. We had a good run back at Sonoma. Watkins Glen is a little different. It seems like we've had good qualifying runs there lately, and then we end up getting bitten by track...

Watkins Glen Preview


"I don't mind the road courses. We had a good run back at Sonoma. Watkins Glen is a little different. It seems like we've had good qualifying runs there lately, and then we end up getting bitten by track position in the race. It just seems to be the key these days. The guy who can keep it during the race is the one who's going to benefit in the end. I think you've seen that a lot lately. I'm not uncomfortable going to these types of tracks like some guys are though."


"Watkins Glen and Sonoma are two different tracks. It's like California and Michigan. They're both similar tracks but each one is different. They each have their own personalities. It's the same with the two road courses. Just because you do well at one doesn't necessarily mean you're going to do well at the other. My foot was still on the mend earlier at Sonoma, and we did okay. Like I said, I don't mind going to these tracks, it's a nice change."


"Everybody is trying to make bold moves to get up through the pack and make something happen. It puts you in a bad position. You have to race differently when you're back there versus when you're up front. I think the racing has become more about pitting and fuel mileage rather than what goes on on the racetrack, look at Pocono. We had a little incident on pit road. I ran into the back of the 48 car and messed up the front of my car. We ended up having to stay on pit road a long time. I was the last car to come out. I was good under a long green run, but I couldn't run the first few laps. It took a couple of laps for my car to get going and then I was good from that point on. By the time I got going and started passing cars, the leader would be half a lap ahead. You were back there racing the 20th place car and you couldn't see the leader. By the time things get sorted out, they're gone and you're not able to catch them."


Bill Elliott is scheduled drive chassis No. 27, which has never been driven in a race.



This will be Elliott's 17th career start at Watkins Glen Int'l. He has three top-five and five top-10 finishes at the track. Elliott has led three Watkins Glen races for a total of 27 laps. Elliott's best finish at Watkins Glen is third, which he earned in the 1988 Bud at the Glen, starting from the third starting position. Elliott's best start was from the second starting position in the 1995 Bud at the Glen.


Elliott became one of only seven Winston Cup drivers to reach the 700-start mark when he qualified 25th at Darlington this March. This weekend's race will mark his 717th career Winston Cup Series start, tying him with Bobby Allison to rank sixth on the all-time start list. Elliott will surpass Allison if he makes next week's start at Michigan Int'l Speedway, Currently, Elliott ranks third in overall starts among active drivers (R. Rudd - 788, T. Labonte - 766).


Elliott started last year's Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen from the fourth place starting position. He battled in the lead pack for the first half of the 90-lap race. A caution on lap 54 brought Elliott in to top off on fuel. Restarting in the 28th position, Elliott was forced to make up track position for the remainder of the race. Several late cautions made it difficult to make up ground, but Elliott was able to battle through traffic to finish on the lead lap in 21st place.


Elliott began last weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from the third starting position. Elliott assumed the lead on lap 17. He fluctuated within the top 10 for most of the day as some teams made varying calls for tires and gas. On lap 82 Elliott pitted but lost some ground when he ran out of gas coming to pit road. He climbed back to eighth place when a caution on lap 140 came out in the middle of green flag pit stops. This put Elliott, who had not pitted, in excellent position for a top-five finish. He took two Goodyear Eagle tires on the stop and made a last ditch charge to the front in the final 10 laps, despite several late race cautions. His hard work paid off as Elliott moved into the fifth spot and was gaining on the next position when he took the checkered flag.


Following his fifth place finish last weekend at Indianapolis, Elliott gains a spot in the Winston Cup points race, currently sitting in 17th place. He is 118 points out of the top-15.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Bobby Allison