Before Road America's Johnsonville 180 back in August 2018, Bill Elliott hadn't made a NASCAR Xfinity Series start since 2005. While his 20th place finish didn't mark the top-15 finish he was hoping for, it was still a pretty solid return for the then 62-year-old NASCAR Hall of Fame driver.
Starting 23rd in the Xfinity race, Elliott sustained hood and nose damage following a run-in early on at the Wisconsin road course. In the race's final laps, he spun off the track, but was able to recover from 28th to 20th.
"I feel like I hit everything but the lottery," Elliott said after the race. "It was a great day. I'd like to thank Xfinity and all the guys. ISM Connect and Maury [Gallagher, GMS Racing team owner] for everything they did for me today. It was a heck of a lot of fun.
"I felt like I needed more through [Turns] 9 and 10, the carousel, to carry any speed through there. I just felt like I gave up too much in like [Turn] 3. I was not too bad in 5, 6, 7, 8...I got a little bit free down in 11. But all in all, it was a good day. I enjoyed it, had a good time."
When asked whether or not he would run another race, Elliott said that he doubted it, though reiterated how great it was to be back behind a stock car wheel.
"This was a lot of fun, a good time," Elliott said. "These guys are serious racers. I mean all these kids are really, really good. I felt like I held my own pretty good for where I'm at in my career and what I was trying to do. It's just hard to put it all together."
This post was originally published on August 27, 2018.