Elliott Talks About Phoenix as Season Winds Down
Harrisburg, NC (November 6, 2008)-Bill Elliott in the no. 21 Wood Brothers Little Debbie Ford Fusion is no stranger to Phoenix International Raceway. He had a victory in 1989, two pole position starts and four top five finishes. As he looks at going to PIR in a new era, he sees the challenges it brings with the COT car, but also looks at the season winding down for the 2008 season.
The win, in 1989 came as a surprise to Elliott with a 13th place starting position. He didn’t feel all that confident when he first got behind the wheel of his Ford Thunderbird and in the original post race interview on that memorable day Elliott explained, “I’ll tell you what. At the first of the race, I thought I would be lucky to be in the top 20 by the end of the day. The guys kept working and we never gave up.” He continued to convey how the track changed in their favor and the team worked together to adjust the car accordingly to ultimately bring home the win.
Looking forward to this weekend, he mentions some of the challenges he expects at Phoenix. “Those were the good old days. It’s not a bad place. I mean, the main thing is that it’s just so different. [Turns] one and two are so much different than three and four and it drives so much different. I mean, I really don’t have a problem with the place and I think the car we’re carrying out there will be pretty good but we’re just so far behind. I mean, you don’t have anybody else that you can lean on and share information and I know we’ve kind of beat that horse to death but, that’s the problem that I see,” Bill said.
Elliott continued commenting on PIR, “I don’t dislike it [the track]and I don’t really like it. It’s just a racetrack that if you get your car setup right, you can run well, if not, then to me, it’s more of a struggle. It’s like some of these places, I can go run three Bristol races in a row or Martinsville or wherever and I seem like I can get a handle on what I’m doing but, then there are these other places, it seems like I can’t get what I’m looking for.”
With the 2008 season winding down and Phoenix being one of the two events left to run, Elliott expressed how the season has progressed for the Wood Brothers Racing and how he views his situation for next year. “I mean whatever I decide to do after the next two races. If I come back to run a few races, it’s going to be short lived,” said Elliott. “I like the group that we have together here. It’s the one thing that’s kind of helped me see some light. I like [crew chief David] Hyder, I like Hoyt [Overbagh] and Dean [Johnson], Dwayne [Doucette] and all of the guys that we have right here. When I come to the race track it’s kind of enjoyable to me. Now, when you look at Bristol, we qualified well, look at Martinsville, we had a decent day. We had some signs of being relatively competitive to a lot of different cars, now granted we are not a car that will win a race but, for us to be put in a place where we can keep making gains, that’s what we need to do and that’s what the team needs to do. That’s the thing that I look at, is to keep building and growing and keep that car out there.”