There was rhyme – “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville.” And there was reason – a premier series championship, enough wins to put him in the top 20 all time and the adulation of millions of fans.
Hometown: Dawsonville, Ga.
Championships: Premier – 1988 (driver)
In a 37-year driving career, Bill Elliott’s compiled a list of accolades that put him near the top of a number of NASCAR’s all-time lists. His 44 wins rank 16th all time and his 55 poles rank eighth.
But, of course, his most prestigious accomplishment came in 1988 when he won the NASCAR premier series championship with six wins, 15 top fives and 22 top 10s in 29 races.
All that, combined with an affable demeanor, endeared him to fans. Fans adored him – and that adoration led to a record 16 Most Popular Driver Awards.
Elliott returned that love with big stage success – and lots of it. He won the Daytona 500 twice and the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway three times. And in 1985, he won both of those along with the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, earning him the “Winston Million” – a $1 million bonus for winning those three of four marquee events.