Bill Elliott Qualifies for 800th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Start

Jim BobCorrespondent IMay 21, 2009

CONCORD, NC - MAY 21:  Bill Elliott, driver of the #21 Motorcraft Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 21, 2009 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Fans witnessed another moment of history Thursday night during pole qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600.

Bill Elliott, more popularly known as "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville," will join the exclusive club of drivers that have made 800 career starts this weekend in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford.

This feat has only been achieved by six other drivers; Richard Petty, Ricky Rudd, Dave Marcis, Terry Labonte, Kyle Petty, and Darrell Waltrip.

“Wherever we end up I’m just proud it’s over with,” said Elliott after his qualifying lap. 

“I’m so glad we came here and ran last week.  They weren’t planning on doing it and I sat down and talked to Len, Eddie and Hyder at Texas and I said, ‘Look guys, if there’s anyway, we need to try to run the All-Star weekend.  We can learn so much,’ and we came over here and made some changes and that was good. 

"We came with kind of a whole different deal than we had last week and it really paid off.  I’ve been out of the car for awhile and you need to do this stuff every week and it just makes you better, and what we changed from last week to tonight really helped a lot.”

Elliott will start from the tenth position on Sunday after turning in a lap of 28.851 seconds during the qualifying session.  Elliott is running a part-time schedule this year with Wood Brothers Racing.

Elliott began racing for the No. 21 team in the 2007 Coca-Cola 600, and has raced with the team ever since.