Statesville N.C. (August 4, 2018) – GMS Racing officials announced today that veteran driver, Bill Elliott will drive the No. 23 ISM Connect Chevrolet Camaro at Road America in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Johnsonville 180.
"When this opportunity came up from Mike (Beam), I had to jump on it," said Bill Elliott. "Chase (Elliott) has ran a handful of races for the team so I figured I would give it a shot at Road America. Beam and I have worked together in the past so it will be exciting to get back behind the wheel and bring back some old memories."
Elliott will be making his first NXS start at Road America. The Dawsonville, GA native has a total of 43 NXS starts, one win, eight top-five’s, 16 top-10’s and two pole awards.
"We are thrilled to welcome Bill (Elliott) to the GMS Racing family," said president of GMS Racing, Mike Beam. "Bill has many years in NASCAR and it’s going to be great to watch him come back, especially in GMS equipment. Bill and I worked together back in the day and had a lot of success so hopefully we can pick up where we left off and create some more great memories."
— GMS Racing —
UPDATE: Not long after news broke that NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott would be returning to NASCAR stock car racing in three weeks at Road America, he confirmed to Kickin’ the Tires that he definitely has a few butterflies.
"You know I never officially retired, so I think this will be my official retirement plan here to go to Road America," Elliott said, as he walked through the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage sporting a No. 9 NAPA hat and heading to meet with his son, Chase Elliott, at the hauler after qualifying. "We started talking about this a few weeks ago and I told Chase, ‘You ought to run it.’ And he said, ‘No, you ought to run it.’ So, Mike Beam (president, GMS Racing) said, ‘No, you (Bill) ought to run it.’ So, I said, ‘Well, let ‘s figure this out.’ I don’t know what I am going to have as a goal but I want to embrace it and have a good time with it and that is what I am going to try to do."
It’s been since 2012 that Bill Elliott drove in any of NASCAR’s top series and in his last race, he crashed and finished 37th. But that isn’t what’s weighing on the 1988 champion’s mind. He wants to know the differences in how the cars drive now versus when he was at his peak in the sport. With 44 wins at the sports highest level, including two Daytona 500 wins, a Brickyard 400 win and three Southern 500 wins he doesn’t have anything to prove. This is all about fun and it isn’t the first time he will have been in a car. In fact, he has a race coming up next week and he has been running a few vintage car races.
"This is going to be a big step," Elliott said. "I have been playing around doing some different things. I am going to run a Tran Am race next week … but I am just feeling around, trying to have a good time and see what’s going on and, you know, seeing how racing has changed. I would really like to drive one of these (Cup) cars to see how much different it is compared to when I stopped a few years ago.
— Kickin the Tires —