Bill Elliot Longing to Return to Georgia Roots
Monday, January 20, 2003
Bill Elliott is practically a household name these days. A former NASCAR Winston Cup champion, 43-time NASCAR race winner and 16-time Most Popular Driver, Elliott is one of the legends of stock car racing.
But he remembers fondly a time when he was just plain old Bill, a kid who loved to race on the short tracks of Georgia.
¿We used to go to Dixie every Saturday night and race there, and we¿d go race about anywhere that would have us,¿ Elliott said. ¿My dad eventually pushed me toward NASCAR racing ¿ I guess he realized NASCAR was the future, and if I was going to drive somewhere, that¿s where I needed to be.¿
In the nearly three decades since Elliott began in NASCAR, George Elliott¿s wisdom has proven truer than anyone could have imagined in those days. NASCAR Winston Cup racing is now the fastest growing sport in America, with the television ratings skyrocketing, and Elliott is near the center of the media blitz that is now dedicated to covering the sport.
But sometimes, when it all gets to be too much, he returns to his roots.
¿I go back and run on dirt now every chance I get,¿ Elliott said. ¿It gets the cobwebs out, and I really enjoy it ¿ it brings me back to where I started. That¿s the grass roots of racing, what it¿s all about.¿
There¿s also a special place in Elliott¿s heart for his home track in NASCAR, Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he has more wins than any other active driver with six (including non-points races).
His most recent win at Atlanta came in 1992, but after winning the pole there in March 2002, Elliott has renewed confidence that he will win again at home.
¿I¿d love to be able to win in front of all the family and friends that come out to support us in Atlanta,¿ Elliott said. ¿That would be real special.¿
This year could be the year that Elliott returns to Victory Lane in Atlanta. Don¿t miss your chance to see the hometown boy win another one in the March 7-9 Atlanta 500 weekend. Great seats are still available; for more information call (770) 946-4211 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.