4-22-13 NASCAR’s Bill Elliott Apple Blossom sports marshal

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WINCHESTER — Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival President Lou Ann Thompson is pleased to announce that NASCAR legend Bill Elliot will serve as the sports marshal for the 2013 Festival and will be the featured speaker at the Wells Fargo Sports Breakfast held on Saturday morning, May 4, at the Winchester Moose Lodge. The man known as “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville” and “Million Dollar Bill” easily qualifies as one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers; and, in terms of his popularity with fans, he clearly sits at the top of the list.

Racing legend Bill Elliott has built one of the most distinguished records in NASCAR Cup history. Throughout his career he has radiated a modest and friendly personality that has endeared him to race fans of all ages. From cutting up car bodies in the early days to winning NASCAR’s first million-dollar bonus, Bill Elliott has seen and done it all.

Though quiet and unpretentious, this NASCAR Cup Champion has been dazzling fans with his racing ability for an amazing three decades. In 1985, he won 11 races and 11 poles on his way to winning the first Winston Million in NASCAR history, bringing a new fame to him and the sport of auto racing. His victories in the Daytona 500, the Winston 500 at Talladega and the Southern 500 at Darlington earned him the million-dollar bonus and the nickname, “Million Dollar Bill.”

Elliott’s “fuel-injected” success also landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the first Winston Cup driver to appear on that cover.

Additional glory followed and in 1988, with six wins, six poles, 11 top-five and 22 top-ten finishes in 29 races, Elliott earned NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series Championship. Moreover, Elliott has achieved amazing popularity, winning the NMPA’s “Most Popular Driver” Award a record 16 times, eventually retiring his name from the contest in 2003.

Bill Elliott races a reduced driving schedule as he prepares to retire. During this new stage in his career, Elliott’s first thoughts are for his fans, answering their disappointment by reflecting, “The way I look at it, there’s got to be a time when you’ve got to step back. We don’t live forever. We don’t drive forever. We don’t do a lot of things forever.”

During his less rigorous racing schedule, he has devoted more time to developing his son’s racing career and helping other talented drivers along their way. Bill Elliott’s devotion to both his sport and his supporters equals his talent, making him a legend with both his team and his fans.

Career Highlights: 44 Career NASCAR Sprint Cup victories; 175 Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Top-5 Finishes; 320 Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Top-10 Finishes; 54 Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Poles; NASCAR Most Popular Driver: 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002 (fan poll conducted by National Motorsports Press Association) and Winner: 1985 Winston Million; 1985 Winston 500; 1985 & 1987 Daytona 500; 1988 Winston Cup Series Champion; 1985,1988 & 1994 Southern 500; 2002 Brickyard 400.

Tickets to the 2013 Wells Fargo Sports Breakfast are on sale now at the Festival Souvenir and Ticket Store.

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