|Date of birth||October 8, 1955|
|Place of birth||Dawsonville, Georgia|
|Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series statistics|
|Best pts finish||1st - 1988|
|First race||1976 Carolina 500|
|First win||1983 Winston Western 500|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series statistics|
|Car no./team||No. 23 GMS Racing|
|Best pts finish||29th - 1993|
|First race||1983 Mello Yello 300|
|First win||1993 Fay's 150|
| 1x Winston Cup Series Champion |
16x NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award
Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers
William Clyde "Bill" Elliott (born October 8, 1955) is an American stock car racing driver. Elliott won the 1988 NASCAR Cup Series championship, garnered 44 wins in that series. He had two Daytona 500 victories, and a record four consecutive wins at Michigan International Speedway during 1985-86. He holds the track record at both Talladega and Daytona International Speedway with speeds of more than 200 mph. Elliott won NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award a record 16 times. He withdrew his name from the ballot for that award after winning it in 2002.
In 2005, Georgia Governor Sunny Perdue declared October eighth as Bill Elliott day in the state of Georgia. Elliott has also been honored by the state legislator by having a stretch of road in his native Dawsonville renamed Elliott Family Parkway.
Elliott made his first Winston Cup Series start at Rockingham in 1976, qualifying 34th in a field of 36 cars. Elliott only lasted 32 laps that day before the oil pump failed in his Ford Torino, earning him $640. Elliott toiled for five years in the Winston Cup Series without sponsorship, and along the way showed flashes that he could compete with the established veterans of the sport. In mid-1977, Elliott bought a Mercury Cougar from Bobby Allison after his split from Penske Racing to replace the inferior Torino, and the move paid off. He earned his first top-10 finish in the 1977 Southern 500 (10th), and his first top-5 finish 2 years later in the same race, finishing second to race winner and boyhood hero David Pearson.
With Melling RacingEdit
In the fall of 1980, Elliott gained his first major sponsor in the form of $500 from Harry Melling of Melling Racing in the 1980 National 500 at Charlotte. However, Bill's father George was on the verge of shutting the team down after the 1980 Atlanta Journal 500 due to lack of a full time sponsor. In what was supposed to be the #9 car's final race, Elliott qualified on the outside pole at Atlanta (the first front row start of his career) in a car that still had Melling's name on the side of it (Elliott's team couldn't afford to repaint the car after the Charlotte race, so they left the sponsor's name on the car.) Unfortunately, the clutch failed in the car during the race, but Bill returned to the race and finished a strong 18th. The team's effort was noticed by Melling, and as a result he gave the team enough sponsorship to run a 12 race schedule in 1981.
After a 1981 season that consisted of one top-5 and seven top-10 finishes in 13 races, including the team's first pole in the CRC Chemicals Rebel 500, Melling bought the team from Bill's father George on December 1, 1981.
In 1983 Elliott earned his first Winston Cup win in the Winston Western 500 at Riverside in the final race of the 1983 season. He gained sponsorship from Coors the following year and won three races, four poles and finished third in the championship standings.
In 1985, Elliott earned 11 wins and 11 poles out of 28 races and also won the first Winston Million in the Southern 500 at Darlington. This earned him the nickname "Million Dollar Bill", and "Awesome Bill From Dawsonville." He won the Daytona 500, the Winston 500 at Talladega and the Southern 500 to earn the Winston Million. This led to him becoming the first NASCAR driver to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Elliott finished second in the championship standings by 101 points, losing the Winston Cup Championship to Darrell Waltrip after a string of poor finishes in the last quarter of the season.
1986, 1987 and 1988 seasonsEdit
In 1986, Elliott won two races and eight poles and finished fourth in the championship standings. He also won that year's all-star race, The Winston held at Atlanta,the only year the race was run somewhere other than Charlotte. In 1987 Elliott won six races including his second Daytona 500, seven poles, and finished second in the final point standings, in that year's all-star race he tangled with Dale Earnhardt in what has become known as "the Pass In The Grass". However, Elliott's most lasting accomplishment that year was setting the NASCAR speed record at Talladega with an average speed of 212.809 mph in his Ford Thunderbird which contained an engine built by his brother Ernie. This was the same race in which Bobby Allison got in to the catch fence and injured several fans. After this incident NASCAR mandated the use of restrictor plates at Daytona and Talladega. As a result, the speed record will likely never be broken. In 1988 Elliott won another six races, six poles, and his only Winston Cup Championship. Despite winning only one championship, Elliott has managed to finish in the top ten in the points 14 times, including 1992 when he finished ten points shy of champion Alan Kulwicki.
Last years with MellingEdit
Following his championship season, Elliott broke his wrist in a crash during testing at Daytona and required relief by Jody Ridley during several races in the first part of the 1989 season. Elliott won two poles and three races and finished sixth in the championship standings. In 1990, Elliott won one race and two poles and finished fourth in the championship standings. Tragically in the 1990 race at Atlanta, Elliott's rear tire changer was killed when Ricky Rudd lost control of his car, spun, and slammed the crew member between his car and Elliott's. This resulted in NASCAR restricting the speed of cars on pit road. The year 1991 saw Elliott's sponsorship change to Coors Light beer and the familiar red car was replaced by a blue one. Elliott won once in the Pepsi 400 and won two poles and finished eleventh in the championship standings during his last season with Melling.
With Junior JohnsonEdit
Elliott left Melling to join Junior Johnson and Associates in 1992. Elliott's sponsor during his time with Johnson was Budweiser. In 1992, Elliott won five races (including four in a row) and three poles, but much like his 1985 season he finished a disappointing second in the championship standings after squandering a large lead in the standings with a late season string of poor finishes. He did win the final race of the 1992 season, but lost the championship by 10 points to Kulwicki. The difference was that Kulwicki gained the 5 bonus points for leading the most laps in the race. Kulwicki led one more lap (103 vs 102) than Elliott. The 10 point difference was the closest point differential until NASCAR changed to the Chase for the Cup points format 12 years later.
The team never seemed to recover from the disappointing loss, with Elliott going winless in 1993 and finishing eighth in the standings and only scoring one win the following season in the 1994 Southern 500 while finishing 10th in the championship standings. After winning the Southern 500, Elliott announced he would be starting his own team with sponsorship from McDonalds in 1995.
As an independent driver and at EvernhamEdit
After leaving Johnson's team, Elliott fielded his own Winston Cup race team from 1995 to 2000. Elliott suffered a long winless streak during this time, though he did manage two top ten finishes in the championship standings. In 1996, Elliott suffered a broken leg during an accident and missed several races that season. Elliott sold his team to Ray Evernham in 2000 and began driving the #9 Dodge Dealers / UAW Dodge Intrepid the following year. In his first qualifying effort while driving the #9 Dodge, Elliott won the pole for the 2001 Daytona 500. Later in the season, he won the Pennzoil Freedom 400 at Homestead from the pole (with then-teammate Casey Atwood starting second and finishing third), which was his first win in over seven years. In 2002 he won twice, including that year's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and won four poles. His last win came in 2003 at Rockingham. During the 2003 Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Elliott led 189 of 267 laps and was on his way to victory, but a cut tire on the final lap gave the win to Bobby Labonte. He still finished the race and maintained his ninth-place position in the final points standings. A few weeks later, Elliott announced that he was relinquishing the #9 car to Kasey Kahne and switching to a part-time schedule driving R&D cars for Evernham.
In 2004, Elliott drove the #91 Dodge Intrepid for Evernham in three events (along with the Budweiser Shootout) and also drove the #98 Dodge Intrepid in three other events because of sponsorship issues between Coca-Cola (Elliott's sponsor) and Pepsi (Evernham's sponsor). Elliott was listed as the owner of the #98 car, but Evernham leased the car to him. Although he only made six starts during his first part-time season, he still managed to have some success which included a ninth-place finish at Indianapolis and second and third-place qualifying efforts at Texas and California respectively.
In 2005, Elliott continued his part-time driving duties which included driving the #39 Coors Dodge Charger for Chip Ganassi Racing in the Budweiser Shootout and the #91 Evernham Dodge in several events. Although he made three more starts than the previous season, he did not have the same amount of success. He managed to get an eleventh-place finish and a tenth-place qualifying effort at Michigan, along with a ninth-place qualifying effort at Texas. He also competed in select NASCAR Busch Series events for Rusty Wallace and also drove the #6 Unilever Dodge for Evernham at Memphis, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas.
For the 2006 season, the 2005 owners' points for the #91 team went to the new #10 Evernham team and driver Scott Riggs. On January 4, 2006, Elliott announced that he would pilot the #36 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for MB2 Motorsports in the 2006 Daytona Speedweeks events. This included the Budweiser Shootout, the Gatorade Duel, and the Daytona 500, which Elliott had not competed in since 2003. On March 17, 2006, it was announced that Elliott would drive the #00 Burger King Chevrolet, ironic because of his many years driving for McDonald's, for Michael Waltrip Racing in five NEXTEL Cup events which included Chicagoland, New Hampshire, Indianapolis, California, and Homestead. Team Red Bull later announced that Elliott would drive the #83 Dodge for the team for three races as the team prepared for a full-time entry into Cup racing with Toyota in 2007.
On August 8, 2006, Evernham Motorsports announced that Elliott would return to the organization for the Watkins Glen race driving the #19 Dodge previously driven by Jeremy Mayfield. The team fell out of the top-35 in owners' points after Indianapolis, leading to the firing of Mayfield, and Evernham assumed that Elliott would guarantee a starting spot in the field by being a past champion. However, since the driver switch was made past the entry deadline, NASCAR said that Elliott was not eligible for the past champions provisional. For the race at Kansas, Elliott teamed up with R&J Racing to drive the #37 Dodge. This was special for Elliott as the engine was one from his brother, Ernie Elliott, and the Melling Auto Parts paint scheme resembled the paint scheme from Elliott's car in 1982. Elliott finished a season-high 16th at the Banquet 400 at Kansas, but did not qualify for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte two weeks later. Elliott was scheduled to be the Team Red Bull entry at Atlanta and Texas, but A. J. Allmendinger drove the car instead (though he did not qualify for either race). Elliott instead drove the #37 Dodge at Atlanta, marking the 30th Anniversary of Elliott driving at his hometown track.
Elliott attempted to qualify for the 2007 Daytona 500, but failed to make the race in the #37. Elliott signed to drive the #21 for Wood Brothers Racing for at least two events for 2007, in part due to his championship provisional, which guaranteed starting the race. Since fellow champion Dale Jarrett had used all of his guaranteed starts in his Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing, Elliott was the only champion eligible for the provisional not guaranteed a spot by being in the top 35 in owner's points.
His first race for the team was the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte, which he qualified without needing one of his six provisionals. He lead the race at one point until he was involved in a wreck around lap 200. At Michigan, Elliott gave the team a much needed 11th place finish. Bill continues to drive for the Wood Brothers, though road-course ace Boris Said got the car into the top-35 in owner's points at the Centurion Boats at the Glen (Watkins Glen). The car then fell out of the top 35 again but at Bristol got back into top 35 in points. Bill made his last race in the #21 at Richmond Raceway finishing 29th. Ken Schrader returned to the #21 replacing Elliott at a testing session at Talladega Superspeedway due to the team being back in the top 35 in owners points. Schrader said in an interview with Speed Channel the Sunday of the New Hampshire race that Bill Elliott would return to the #21 the races when Schrader drives his Truck or if the #21 drops out of top 35. Glen Wood said with an interview with Scene Daily that Bill may drive the #21 at Kansas Speedway. the WoodBros. website later said that Elliott would indeed drive the car at Kansas. On September 23 in an interview with Charlotte Observer Len Wood the co- owner of the #21 said in 2008 Elliott would have his own sponsor and share ride with Jon Wood & Marcos Ambrose. Bill Elliott returned to the #21 to try to get the car back into the Top 35 points at Lowes Motor Speedway. At the end of the 2007 season the #21 car was outside of the top-35 in points.
Bill showed up at Daytona International Speedway in February of 2008 looking to get the #21 Motorcraft Ford through qualifying and into the race. His practice times were very good, but during pole qualifying he burnt up a rear end gear and finished with a slow lap. He tried racing his way into the show through the Gatorade 150 on February 14 but did not get the finish that he needed. This is the first time the Wood Brothers have ever taken a car to Daytona and missed the Daytona 500.
Following the missed Daytona race, Bill announced that 2008 will be his last year driving in the Sprint Cup Series. 
|2007-2008 (30 races)||21||Little Debbies||Ford||Wood Brothers Racing|
|2006 (10 races)||00||Burger King||Chevrolet||Michael Waltrip Racing|
|2004-2005 (15 races)||91||Stanley Tools (2005)|
|2001-2003||9||UAW/Dodge Dealers||Dodge||Evernham Motorsports|
|1995-2000||94||McDonalds||Ford||Bill Elliott Racing|
|1992-1994||11||Budweiser||Ford||Junior Johnson Motorsports|
Melling Tool (1981-1982)
|1976-1980||9||Elliott Racing/Dahlonega Ford Sales||Ford||George Elliott|
- Official site
- Profile on Evernham Motorsports' site (no longer accessible from the main page)
- Drivers statistics at racing-reference.info
|Bill Elliott | Casey Elliott|
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