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Elliott To Drive in Coke Zero 400

Deb Williams | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, January 26 2012

Bill Elliott will be back in a Cup car this year. (File photo courtesy of NASCAR)

Notes and quotes from the Sprint NASCAR Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway:

CONCORD, N.C. – Bill Elliott will return to Sprint Cup driving duty in 2012 for, as it stands right now, just one race.

During the morning session of the annual Sprint NASCAR Media Tour presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway Thursday, it was announced that the former Cup champion would drive in the Coke Zero 400 in July.

Elliott’s car will be a Chevrolet sponsored by Walmart and staffed by Turner Motorsports, which fields entries in the Nationwide Series.

The engines will come from Hendrick Motorsports. It will carry the No. 50 to commemorate Walmart’s 50th anniversary.

Elliott, 56, said that the deal just came together in last day or two.

The native of Dawsonville, Ga. was the 1988 Cup champion. During his Cup career, which began in 1976, he won 44 races. He has started 826 races in his career and has 175 top-five finishes. He has won 55 poles.

His last full season in the sport was 2003 when he drove a car owned by Ray Evernham.  Elliott’s last victory – which he got at Rockingham – came during that ‘03 season.

Last season, Elliott raced five times, each time for Phoenix Racing – the team for which Kurt Busch will drive this season. Elliott’s best finish last season came in the Daytona 500, where he finished 12th.

The Blue Deuce will keep on rolling.

MillerCoors, the company which makes Miller Lite beer, said it has extended its sponsorship deal with Penske Racing. The company has its logo on the side of the No. 2 Penske Dodge, which is driven by Brad Keselowski.

MillerCoors chief marketing officer Andy England said the renewals point to the value of NASCAR as a powerful way to connect with legal-drinking-age consumers.

“We don’t make investment decisions like this without having a great sense of exactly what the alliance will deliver for our brands,” England said. “That’s why I’m so excited about our continued partnerships with NASCAR and with Penske Racing. NASCAR fans are among the most passionate and loyal fans in all of sports, and they love nothing more than getting together with friends to watch the race while enjoying a cold, refreshing Coors Light or a great tasting, never watered down Miller Lite. Our distributors and retailers know that, which is why they’re so supportive of our leadership in the sport.”

Keselowski drove the No. 2 car into the Chase last season.

“The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge is coming off a very successful season on the racetrack – one where we reached Victory Lane for a sixth-consecutive season while qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup,” team-owner Roger Penske said. “The continued support of MillerCoors will ensure that this long-standing partnership will remain one of the strongest bonds in professional motorsports. With Miller Lite, we are proud to have one of the few full-season sponsors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. That continuity is one of the many reasons Brad and the team are primed for another

(This story will be updated shortly)

Deb Williams | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, January 26 2012
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