"It ain't about me. It's about the crew. It was a good run. I'm proud for the guys. They work so hard week in and week out on this deal....This team is making me look better and better." 1
Bill Elliott started racing because his father, George Elliott, wanted to keep him and his brothers out of trouble. George would take his kids to various tracks throughout northern Georgia. After a couple of years, Bill would make the rounds by himself and slowly became involved with racing. At the young age of 20, Bill took his first green flag at North Carolina Speedway. His first team was family owned and ran, however it had problems coming up with the needed funds to be full time.
In 1983, Elliott's team got its needed finacial boost through Harry Melling allowing him to run his first complete season in the Winston Cup. Elliott's first win, his first trip to Victory Lane at Riverside Ineternational Raceway. 1985 was his breakthrough year with 11 races and 11 poles. Wins in 1985 included the Daytona 500, Winston 500 at Talladega, and Southern 500 at Darlington. The Southern win also included winning the Winston Million which earned him the nickname Million Dollar Bill, which made him the first NASCAR driver to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Bill continued to win and in 1988 won the championship with six wins, six poles, 11 top-five finishes and 22 top-10 finishes out of 29 races. 1992 saw Elliot end his relationship with Melling whien he joined forces with Junior Johnson. This year was another succesful year with Elliott finishing in second place to Alan Kulwicki by 10 points. Elliot left Johnson in 1995 and started his own company as full time owner and full time racer. The pressure of doing both jobs led to a slight drop of in his career. In 2000, Bill Elliott announced that for the 2001 season he would be driving for Ray Evernham and Evernham Motorsports as the lead driver in Dodge's return to NASCAR.
Some other accomplishments:
- Named Most Popular Driver a record 15 times in a row.
- Two time Daytona 500 winner
- 1 of 7 drivers to exceed $20 million in career winnings
- Driver of the Decade for the 1980s
- Two time winner of Driver of the Year
- Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time
- Received the "Race Car Driving Legend Award" from the March of Dimes
Information taken from www.billelliot.com and also http://www.nascar.com/drivers/dps/belliott00/cup/bio.html