Bill Elliott had an eventful day at Road America, but it was still ‘mission accomplished’ for what he wanted to do in climbing back behind the wheel at 62 years old: see how a racecar has changed over the years and have fun.
Elliott finished 20th Saturday afternoon after suffering early nose and hood damage when he ran into the back of someone. Then with seven laps to go, Elliott spun off the track. He had started the day 23rd and through pit cycles and differing strategy throughout the field, ran as high as seventh at one point.
“I feel like I hit everything but the lottery,” Elliott said afterward. “It was a great day. I’d like to thank Xfinity and all the guys. ISM Connect and Maury [Gallagher, GMS Racing team owner] for everything they did for me today. It was a heck of a lot of fun.
“I felt like I needed more through [Turns] 9 and 10, the carousel, to carry any speed through there. I just felt like I gave up too much in like [Turn] 3. I was not too bad in 5, 6, 7, 8 … I got a little bit free down in 11. But all in all, it was a good day. I enjoyed it, had a good time.”
Road America was Elliott’s first race since 2012 and his first Xfinity Series race since 2007. Asked if he would be back again, Elliott said he doubted it.
“This was a lot of fun, a good time,” said Elliott, a NASCAR Hall of Fame member. “These guys are serious racers. I mean all these kids are really, really good. I felt like I held my own pretty good for where I’m at in my career and what I was trying to do. It’s just hard to put it all together.”