NASCAR »

Elliott posts 500 pole warning.

Earlier this week, a list of favourites for the Daytona 500 pole probably wouldn't have included Bill Elliott, but that perception changed dramatically during Saturday's two NASCAR Sprint Cup practice sessions.

Elliott topped the speed charts in both, as drivers made single-car runs around 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway in preparation for Sunday's pole qualifying session.

Driving the #21 Wood Brothers Ford, Elliott posted a top speed of 187.950mph and served notice to the rest of the field that he not only expects to make the season-opening points race on speed, but also has a legitimate shot at securing the top starting spot.

Only the top two starting positions for the Daytona 500 will be determined Sunday. The rest of the field will be ordered after Thursday's Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races.

With his car outside the top 35 in 2008 owner points, Elliott must qualify for the race on speed or through the Duels, unless two more recent past Cup champions -- Tony Stewart and Terry Labonte -- do likewise. If both Stewart and Labonte race their way into the 500, Elliott would have a past champion's provisional starting spot as a safety valve.

Elliott, however, believes that improvements to the Wood Brothers' programme late last year will put him in a position to make the race on present, rather than past, performance.

"I think we were getting better last fall, and I think that was overshadowed," he said after turning a lap at 187.645mph in the first practice session, "The Chase and everything else overshadows what you do.

"The problem with this whole sport is there is a select few that gets all the media and, when you're not in every week, it's tough to find your place at the end of the day. For us, our first goal is to come down here and take it one step at a time and run as well as we can each opportunity we can and see where it unfolds."

Elliott hopes to avoid a repeat of 2008, when the Wood Brothers car was quick in practice but qualified poorly after changes to the set-up and failed to make the field through the Duels.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bill Elliott - Wood Brothers Ford Fusion
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, signs the Coors Light Pole Award backdrop after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, races Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, has an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, takes the chequered flag ahead of Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, takes the chequered flag ahead of Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, poses with the winner`s decal in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #24 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet SS, races to a seventh-place finish Sunday, February 21, 2016 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.