By Toby Christie, Editor — Follow on Twitter @Toby_Christie
Since news broke that Bill Elliott would be coming out of retirement to run the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Road America, Kerry Murphey has joked on basically every episode of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast that in doing so Elliott would be losing his place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame for at least a couple of years.
Of course, Elliott’s enshrinement is staying put, but the 1988 NASCAR Cup Series champion and winner of 44 Cup Series races has an interesting rear bumper this weekend on his No. 23 Chevrolet Camaro.
The team was instructed to place yellow rookie tape on the bumper before Elliott could run any laps in practice around the massive 4-plus mile race course. Elliott also partook in the rookie driving meeting with Tyler Reddick and the other NXS 2018 rookie class.
Rookie stripes being put on a NASCAR Hall of Famers car… you don’t see that every weekend! 😂 pic.twitter.com/7iWjMM76Ul
— GMS Racing (@GMSRacingLLC) August 24, 2018
I don’t believe NASCAR was trying to insinuate that Elliott is not qualified to drive in this event by any stretch, it just seems they want him to be as acclimated as possible to a race track he has not competed on, and in a form of motorsport which he hasn’t strapped into since back in 2012.
For Elliott, 62, he’s just looking forward to getting back to work and seeing what he can do.
“I am really looking forward to see how the Xfinity cars drive in this day and age. I have been fortunate to see this sport evolve into what it is, and with engineering nowadays, it’s a whole different ball game,” Elliott said in a team release. “My main objective this weekend at Road America is to complete all the laps, be smooth and do all I can do. This No. 23 car has been fast this year so hopefully we can continue that trait this weekend. It’s going to be fun and we will see where things fall.”
Will he show the field why he was nicknamed Awesome Bill from Dawsonville? That remains to be seen, but it’ll just be fun to see one of the best ever back behind the wheel even if it is just for one weekend.
Photo: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images