Bill Elliott also details a moment he had with a fan at McDonalds before his race at Road America
Bill Elliott made his return to NASCAR over the weekend at Road America. It was his first time in a car since 2012. Though, he hadn’t run an Xfinity race since 2005 (He attempted to qualify for a race in 2007).
The entire family came to see Bill race. His wife Cindy and his son Chase where at the show. Chase Elliott picked up the radio and became a spotter for the weekend.
Early in the event, Elliott was involved in a stack up. The result of the accordion effect was a crinkled hood and nose piece. Elliott continued finishing 31st in stage 1 and 22nd in stage 2.
With 10 laps to go, Elliott was running 17th. However, he was turned and sent outside of the track limits. He came out of the grass in 28th. In the closing laps he drove back up into the top 20, finishing 20th.
Do you ever see yourself stepping out of the seat for good?
“Well, right now as long as I stay healthy and things go well. You know, I feel like I’m in pretty decent shape,” Bill Elliott stated from the Road America media center.
“I’ll dabble with whatever I feel like I need to do. Because, you never know when it’s going to turn the page and it’s going to say, ‘I can’t do this anymore. You literally physically, can’t do this anymore.’ ”
“Like I said, I’ve been fortunate enough to do what I love to do for a very long time. I’ve had a great racing career.”
“I look back on it and it seems like just yesterday when it started. It’s hard to believe where I’m at in my career. On the flip side it’s hard to believe I’m here today.”
Elliott was the 1988 Winston Cup Series champion. He collected 6 wins that year. Elliott also has 44 wins. That puts him tied with Kevin Harvick at 17th on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list.
Beyond wins, Elliott sits 7th on the list of all-time NASCAR Cup Series starts with 828. He has 44 additional starts in the Xfinity Series.
“I’ll tell you a funny story. Friday morning, my buddy and I walked into the McDonalds. The guy behind the counter, he said, ‘I know you. You’re Bill Elliott. I’m your biggest fan. I bought a Thunderbird in the ’80’s and the whole deal.’ ”
“To me, it still blows me away. I mean, I haven’t been full-time behind the wheel of a race car since ’03. I go into these places and people still recognize who you are. They were such avid fans through that era.”
“It’s still hard for me to believe today that stiff affects them. It just make some simple little gesture such a nice place. It’s so gratifying.”
“Gosh, it’s been what? 30 years or better since that era of really running good through the ’80’s. Here, this guy still remembers the whole thing about it. Pretty cool.”
A moment like that is no surprise. Bill Elliott was voted the most-popular NASCAR Cup Series driver 16 times. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015.
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