#23 Atlanta Journal 500
Atlanta Journal 500 – Atlanta Motor Speedway – 11/22/87
Bill Elliott and the Coors – Melling Ford Thunderbird Team arrived at Atlanta Journal 500, the last race of the season with four new crew members whom are replacing Dan Elliott and three other members of his pit crew who were injured in an accident at Riverside Speedway two weeks earlier. Elliott dedicated the race win to Chuck Hill, who was hurt worst in the accident and still in the hospital along with the other three pit crew members still recovering from their injuries. Elliott picked up some volunteer crewman headed by Joey Knuckles, an experienced crewman let go from another team earlier in the season. Needless to say, Elliott and the Coors – Melling team came into the race with a disadvantage to the other teams. Never the less, Elliott and his team won the pole with a speed of 174.341 mph to second place qualifier Dale Earnhardt, driver of the Richard Childress Chevrolet. This was Elliott’s eighth pole of the 1987 season. Elliott started out the race with 2nd place in the Winston Cup point standings. After the start of the race, Elliott and Earnhardt were in control exchanging the lead several times; there were 12 total lead changes in the race. Elliott led 4 times for a total of 168 laps. Elliott took the lead on lap 247 of 328 leading the last 82 laps for the victory with Earnhardt finishing 2nd, nearly 13 seconds behind Elliott. Ricky Rudd finished 3rd with Bobby Allison and Davey Allison finishing out the top 5 positions. The race had 12 cautions for a total of 33 laps with an average speed of 139.047 mph. Elliott ended the 1987 season with 8 including 3 out of the last 4 races.