WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – GMS Racing announced Saturday that 62-year-old Bill Elliott will drive the team’s No. 23 Xfinity car Aug. 25 at Road America.
It will be the NASCAR Hall of Famer’s first race in NASCAR since July 2012 at Daytona International Speedway. His last Xfinity race was October 2005 at Memphis.
“When this opportunity came up … I had to jump on it,” said Bill Elliott in a statement from the team. “Chase (Elliott) has ran a handful of races for the team so I figured I would give it a shot at Road America. (GMS President Mike) 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, the 1988 Cup champion, is a part of the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015, joining Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly and Rex White. Elliott had 44 Cup wins and 55 poles in his career. His lone Xfinity win came in 1993 at Watkins Glen International.
Beam was Elliott’s crew chief in 1990 and 1993-94 and for numerous races in 1995, ’96 and ’97.
“We are thrilled to welcome Bill (Elliott) to the GMS Racing family,” said president of GMS Racing, Mike Beam in a statement from the team. “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.”
Because Elliott has never raced in NASCAR at Road America, the Hall of Famer will need to attend the rookie meeting that weekend.
Asked if he had any advice for his dad, Chase Elliott said with a smile: “No.”
Chase Elliott said he’d like to attend that weekend. It is an off-weekend for Cup, so will Chase try to find a ride to race his dad?
“I haven’t really thought about it, to be honest with you,” Chase Elliott said. “The tough thing is you want to go and put a real solid effort together and you just hate to throw a car and a team together up there to go do it. I’m not sure, you never know. There’s still a few weeks out. No plans right now.”
Chase Elliott said he and his dad have raced against each other in late models but not recently. Chase said that his dad has done some vintage racing. He ran at Road Atlanta in March. He participated in a test day at Road America but mechanical issues prevented him from competing.
Fellow Georgia racer David Ragan is excited to see Elliott back in a car in NASCAR.
“Bill Elliott is timeless,” Ragan said. “That’s awesome … Bill’s obviously a hero for a lot of Georgia racers, including myself. It’s crazy to think that he has had a NASCAR license longer than I’ve been alive. That’s cool. I’ll definitely tune in and be watching.”
The Road America Xfinity race will air on NBCSN. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET with Countdown to Green on Aug. 25. Race coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET.