Elliott Looking Forward To Being Home in Atlanta
Harrisburg, NC (October 23, 2008)-Bill Elliott is heading to his home track in Atlanta behind the wheel of the Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion for the running of the Pep Boys 500 on Sunday, October 26th. His history at Atlanta Motor Speedway is among the richest in NASCAR and will be commemorated this weekend during pre-race ceremonies.
Elliott will make his 59th start at the 1.5 mile oval and holds six wins, of which, he is tied for third with the most wins among NASCAR’s finest, Richard Petty and Bobby Labonte. He also has five pole position starts,14 top five finishes and is ranked fifth of all time with the most laps led. He’s looking forward to going home and has a busy weekend of events. “Racing at my home track in Atlanta is well, like being at home; the fans have always been a big part of making it special to me. I have many fond memories here and hope to make many more,” said Elliott.
There has been question as to whether this may be Elliott’s last run at the track where he’s known as a local hero, but looking back at the progress that he and Wood Brothers have made this season, he is leaving his options open for the future. Elliott commented, “I’m looking at what Eddie and Len have worked to build and I’m trying to help them out. Whatever I end up doing, it’s going to be a short skirt.”
Elliott came to the Wood Brothers Racing organization late 2007 with the focus of assisting them in getting the program up in owners point standings. He feels that the team has really made progress since then and looks forward to experiencing what’s ahead. “I see some things going in a positive direction with David Hyder coming in [as crew chief] and Hoyt [Overbagh], the engineer coming back there. Another guy, Dean [Johnson], who’s the shock guy and you’ve got Dwayne [Doucette] and all of the other guys who are the car chiefs and who have been with The Wood’s. They’re just a great bunch of guys,” Elliott said.
Coming off of a positive weekend with a 16th place finish at Martinsville, Elliott is starting to see some of the benefits of the dialogue that he and Hyder are building. He said,” At Martinsville on Sunday, we kept working on the car and getting it better during the race. That’s the key thing that we’ve got to do as far as the Wood Brothers organization and what they need to do is keep picking at it and getting a little better as time goes on.”
Atlanta Motor Speedway will be honoring the 20th anniversary of his 1988 NASCAR Championship team during pre-race activities. 27 of the original team members will attend the festivities on Sunday. Elliott commented on the reunion, “I think it will be pretty neat.” He added, “I mean, it’s been a long time and I haven’t seen a lot of the team in the last number of years. I really look forward to being back at Atlanta with them again.”
To add to a very busy weekend, Elliott will host the Bill Elliott 50 Red Dirt Dash along with other NASCAR stars for charity Saturday, October 25th at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga. The event will include driving personalities such as Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne , Ken Schrader and others. Proceeds of the event will benefit the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Bill spoke about the objective for the event, “We’re trying to help Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta which was Eggelston. They’ve gone into where they’re non-profit and where everything they do, they have to raise money through donations. That’s a fantastic facility and we’re just trying to help them along, have some fun, get the people out on Saturday night and just go play.”
Elliott and the celebrity drivers will be signing autographs at Dixie in a private session starting at 6:00 pm. Autograph session vouchers are available at the gate starting at 3:00 pm for $30 with proceeds also benefitting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Grandstand and pit gates open at 3:00 pm and event starts at 7:30 pm. Advance tickets for the Bill Elliott 50 can be purchased for $30 adult and $15 children ages 7-17 by calling the track ticket office at 770.926.5315. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Adult tickets at the gate are $35 and pit passes are $40 adult and $20 children 11 and under.
Dixie Speedway is located just north of Atlanta along Hwy 92 at 150 Dixie Drive, Woodstock, Georgia 30189. For more information on the Bill Elliott 50 at Dixie Speedway fans can visit www.dixiespeedway.com or call the track’s office at 770.926.5315.