Winston Cup former champion Bill Elliott turns high-speed laps in dirt late model at Golden Isles Speedway in practice session along with owner Arlene Pittman. (Brunswick, GA) NASCAR Winston Cup legend Bill Elliott participated in a private ...
Winston Cup former champion Bill Elliott turns high-speed laps in dirt late model at Golden Isles Speedway in practice session along with owner Arlene Pittman.
(Brunswick, GA) NASCAR Winston Cup legend Bill Elliott participated in a private practice session at Golden Isles Speedway on January 20th as a test session for his dirt car program. Elliott was joined on the 5/8-mile speed plant by dirt late model star, Ray Cook of Murphy, NC and Golden Isles Speedway owner/promoter Arlene Pittman, who aside from her promotional tasks at several South Georgia racetracks is also a competitor in the NASCAR Goody's Dash Series. Elliott's laps at the oiled dirt oval came as a part of his continuing enjoyment of some seat time in his dirt late model racecar.
"It is certainly a honor to have a driver of Elliott's caliber and fame to come down here to Golden Isles Speedway for a practice session," suggests Arlene Pittman. "Bill had a great time out there on the track and commented that the racing surface here at Golden Isles Speedway is a breed of it's own, in which, it is not clay and it is not asphalt," Pittman said of Elliott's assessment of the oil-based surface which has seen many legendary racers of years past compete. "The session that we had is a good indicator for the racing conditions with the upcoming Lucas Oil Georgia State Late Model Triple Crown Series event on February 2nd and it should really be exciting," concluded Pitman.
'Awesome' Bill unloaded his #9 GRT dirt car out on the track and posted some blistering times at Golden Isles Speedway. Pittman and Cook showed Elliott the fastest groove around the track, and then the two reviewed their laps. "After Bill found the fast line, he went back out and made it look like book-work. He never lifted off the throttle in turns 3 and 4 and set very impressive times," states Pittman.
Cook, known as the Tar Heel Tiger among short-track fans, was on hand and assisted with Elliott's setup and efforts as he has in recent visits to several other dirt racetracks. Cook is a former champion of the "Show Me 100" dirt late model spectacle at West Plains (MO) Motor Speedway and has posted a consistent string of Top-5 National Championship points finishes on the United Dirt Track Racing Association (UDTRA) tour and its predecessor the Hav-A-Tampa/Phillies Cigars Dirt Racing Series during the past 8 years. Cook's team is based in North Georgia with team owners Brownie and Cheryl Brown of Young Harris, GA having had an ongoing relationship with Elliott's organization, particularly with Bill's brother and engine builder Ernie Elliott whose powerplants Cook and his team have used from time to time during the past 5-6 seasons on dirt. "It was also a pleasure to have Ray Cook come with Bill to test here as well," states Pittman.
'Million Dollar' Bill began his racing career on the Georgia dirt tracks with his brothers racing under their father's guidance out of their Dawsonville, GA race shop and in which time, the 15--time NASCAR Winston Cup Most Popular driver rapidly escalated his career and eventual fame as one of NASCAR Winston Cup racings most successful stars. With the Winston Cup season weeks away, Elliott is hoping that his hectic schedule in and around Speedweeks and other test and appearance dates will allow him to return to his dirt roots in competition in next weekend's 60-lap affair at Golden Isles Speedway on Sunday, February 2nd. The $10,000 to win Golden Isles Speedway event is the third and final leg of the 2003 Lucas Oil Triple Crown Late Model Series which includes a Friday night (Jan 31) stop in Savannah, GA and a Saturday night (Feb 1) visit to Waycross (GA) Motor Speedway.
"Bill has not made any final commitments or promises yet as whether or not he can be certain he can return to compete next week, but he really wants to come back and race on this track next week if at all possible," noted Pittman. "This time of the year poses a lot of scheduling challenges with the many commitments that someone like Bill has, but depending on his scheduling we may very well see him racing at Brunswick next weekend," commented Pittman.
For more information on Golden Isles Speedway and the Lucas Oil Georgia Super Late Model Triple Crown Series, please visit, www.goldenislesspeedway.com.