#16 Miller 400
Miller American 400 – Michigan International Speedway – 6/15/86
Bill Elliott and the Coors – Melling Ford Thunderbird team were glad to get back to one of Elliott’s best tracks to break an 8 month long stretch without a win after his sensational 1985 season. Tim Richmond won the Pole Award with a speed of 172.031 in his Hendricks Chevrolet. Elliott started in the 8th position and paced himself through the race leading for 3 different times for 28 total laps of the 200 lap race. This was the first race since the Michigan International Speedway was repaved which made for many lead changes and the ability for anyone to run in any grove on the track. The new surface made for some exciting racing and 32 lead changes among 12 drivers. Elliott ran in the top 5 all day long before taking the lead for the final time on lap 196 to lead the final 5 laps. Elliott and the team needed a good win to get the “Monkey off Their Back”. Finishing out the top 5 were Harry Gant, Geoff Bodine, Buddy Baker, and Darrell Waltrip. Elliott won with an average speed of 138.851 mph. Slowing the race pace were 8 cautions for 39 laps. Owner Harry Melling won $56,900 dollars for the win, Elliott picking up another 180 Championship points where he was in 3rd place at the time. The win was Elliott’s 16 win, and the 11th different winner out of 14 races so far this year.