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Interview With Bill Elliott

In a recent telephone interview Bill Elliott gave his two cents worth about the the importance of Fontana's market area, the Car of Tomorrow (CoT), his future plans, Toyota, and my favourite topic, his Past Champion's Provisional.

I've listed partial quotes from Bill about these topics and included my translation of his sitting-on-the-fence-don't-rock-the-boat-speak.

About Fontana's market area Bill stated, "I'm sure it's important for mainly the sponsors of NASCAR. Basically, I think it's important to all the people who put money into these cars that need to be in that area.

Translation: We're racing here because there's money to be made, not because we like it here.

His remarks about the CoT included, "It seemed to drive pretty decently. It wasn't totally out to lunch like some people led us on to believe ... whether or not it's going to do ultimately what NASCAR wants it to do, I have no idea. My first prerogative is if it's for the safety of the driver I'm 100% for it. If it's for other reasons, then I don't know".

Translation: It drove alright but they've got a lot to do to make it work. He has his doubts as to whether it is going to work, but he supports the idea of the car as long as it isn't a ploy by NASCAR to attract fans from other motorsports like Tuners and Drifting.

About his future in racing he states, "I really don't know. I honestly don't know. I'm trying to sort through some stuff right now and try to figure out where I'm going to land. I guarantee you I'll be the first to know".

Translation: I've got this awesome offer from Red Bull that's going to make me a lot of dough, but my family will kill me if I come out of retirement. But, I really want to!

Bill's opinions about Toyota in NASCAR include, "It's a good time for a manufacturer to come in to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. All of the cars are going to have the same templates. With all the stuff going on today, it's going to be easier. You will have more access to technology today then if you were a new manufacturer coming to the sport 15 or 20 years ago ... for a manufacturer to come in today with all the cars having the same templates, NASCAR doing all the stuff they are doing like impounding cars, taking cars to the wind tunnel and stuff like that, it's a perfect time to come in. You are going to be able to jump start a little quicker than you would be starting on a clean sheet of paper. They've already got their technology for their engines because they've run in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and they have a pretty good history of that. Now, all they've got to do is make sure they have the teams in place to put the pieces of the puzzle together. That's kind of what I see".

Translation: Toyota is going to come out of the box hard, and not look back if they can get the right people in the right places. It's not going to be the technology or NASCAR that holds Toyota back, it will be the lack of good people to get the job done if anything.

On the Past Champions Provisional he coyly stated, "Dale Jarrett will take that because he is the most recent champion. That will put me totally out and I will have to earn my way in. I think Dale is even more recent than Terry (Labonte). That was pretty smart on Michael's part to do what they did and hire Dale".

Translation: I'll get it if Jarrett's in the top 35 in owners points, or has already raced his way in. I'm just worried about Labonte. If he gets hired then I have to compete against him too because he is a more recent Champion than I. Damn that Michael Waltrip, I should have taken him up on his offer when he gave it to me.

For more of this interesting interview with Bill click here.