Wood Brothers Racing and Bill Elliott in the no. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion look toward Kansas Speedway
Harrisburg, NC (September 25, 2008)-Bill Elliott will drive the no. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Motorcraft Ford Fusion at Kansas Speedway in the Camping World RV 400 on Sunday, September 28th. Elliott has had four starts at the 1.5 mile tri-oval, yet his abbreviated record shows that he has two top five finishes. In 2003, he led 115 laps of the race and finished second. Elliott also tested the no. 21 machine at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on September 23rd and 24th for the NASCAR sanctioned open test. Elliott spoke about looking forward to Kansas.
You had a great run in 2003; you led 115 laps and finished second, talk about that finish.
“We had to stop for tires and it seems like Ryan [Newman] stayed out or got two [tires] and got the track position and by the time I got to him, the race was over. But, I was better; I had a really good car that day. We had a good enough car to win. We had a good run and we ended up second.”
What do you like most about Kansas Speedway?
“I like Kansas real well, it’s just a fun little race track to me. It’s kind of like what Vegas and Chicago have gone to. The only difference in Chicago is that the back straightaway has a little curve to it and Kansas is straight. Kansas is very much like Kentucky.
I also like just the way you drive it, it kind of fits my style. Like Michigan, even though Michigan has disillusioned me the last few years, I still like running it and California. I’m one of the weird one’s that likes Pocono. Those types of flatter, bigger race tracks. Those I’ve always liked throughout my career.”
What do you think is the key to doing well at Kansas?
“I’m not sure, you see, I haven’t been back there in a COT car. I mean everything I’ve done is the old evolution car and some of these places with the new car, I just struggle with the feeling I’m looking for in the car. We just have to be able to connect all of the dots to make it work. Then if you go back to Bristol; when I drove in that place I thought, ‘now, why did I choose this race track?’ Then we ended up having a great time there. We ran well and had a lot of fun.
You go to these places and you never know. These guys have really worked hard. They’ve changed a lot and worked through things. Once they get the evolution car better and better, I think that’s the thing we need to do.”
What are your expectations for this race weekend?
“If we can continue to get our communication lines better and take each race track and try to figure it out. Just like if you take what we did at Bristol and you try to apply it to Loudon, we kind of got something and if you watched Ambrose at Dover, Bristol and Dover are more similar. [Crew chief David] Hyder and I haven’t really worked on a race track like the Kansas shape. We’ve got to take what we’ve learned and go from there.”
Will the data from this week’s test at Lowes Motor Speedway help you in Kansas?
“Kansas doesn’t really have any tough transitions. At Charlotte, the way you get into turn one is different than how you get into turn three and how the car loads up, is different. You turn in and not pick the bank up, and then you get a lot of bank in the corner where Kansas doesn’t have those types of transitions. The way they try to run these COT cars, with the spring packages, the bump-stops, or no bumps-stops and that’s what’s so confusing to get everything just right and I know we keep harping on this but, being a single entity, you’re kind of like on Gilligan’s Island. You go through two days of testing and make a hundred runs to collect all of the data you can. Then there are those who have four teams, and you multiply that out, that’s four hundred runs.”
Elliott believes that multi-car teams have the advantage of sharing the collective data that can be used to help set up all of their cars and assist their drivers. Elliott said, “One guy figures something out and he gets in the corner a little different. You go look at the data and say well, I need to do this a little different, I need to do that a little different. I need to set my car up like this. We just don’t have that luxury over here. We’ll just take everything that we learned and do the best that we can.”
Read more on Bill Elliott and Wood Brothers Racing on the official Web Site: www.woodbrothersracing.com