Fast Facts: Bill Elliott

Bill Elliott was the 1988 Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) champion, driving for Melling Racing. In 2011, he’ll drive the #09 on a part-time basis for James Finch and Phoenix Racing.
  • Elliott was born October 8, 1955 in Dawsonville, Georgia. His brothers Ernie and Dan were active in his early career, as was his father George.
  • Elliott made his Cup Series debut in 1976 in a family-owned car. He received his first major sponsor in 1980 from Harry Melling, who later bought the team from George Elliott.
  • He won his first race in 1983 at Riverside International Raceway. In 1985, he won 11 races and 11 poles, as well as the first Winston Million for winning the Daytona 500, the Winston 500 (Talladega), and the Southern 500 (Darlington). This is when he earned his nicknames “Million Dollar Bill” and “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville.”
  • In 1986, Elliott set the all-time NASCAR qualifying speed record at Talladega, running a lap of 212.809 mph.
  • Elliott was a major player in the 1992 championship, finishing second to Alan Kulwicki by 10 points; it was Elliott’s first year driving for Junior Johnson. In 1995, Elliott started his own team, sponsored by McDonald’s, which he owned until 2000.
  • In 2000, he sold his team to Ray Evernham, who was working on a Dodge return to NASCAR. Elliott drove the #9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid until 2003. In 2004, he began his part-time driving career, driving for a number of teams including Evernham’s and the Wood Brothers.
  • Elliott won the Most Popular Driver Award a record 16 times: 1984-1988, 1991-2000, and 2002. He took himself out of the running in 2001 and urged all fans to vote for the late Dale Earnhardt, who won the award posthumously.
  • Bill and Cindy Elliott are the parents of up-and-coming driver Chase Elliott (born November 28, 1995), who has won numerous late model races and championships. Chase recently signed a development deal with Hendrick Motorsports.
  • Find out more about Elliott at

Image: Getty Images for NASCAR: Chris Graythen
Fast Facts: Bill Elliott Fast Facts: Bill Elliott Reviewed by Paula on Friday, February 18, 2011 Rating: 5