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'Awesome Bill' named to NASCAR Hall of Fame
Dawsonville's Bill Elliott was named to the NASCAR Hall of Fame May 21. - photo by For the Dawson Community News

Bill Elliott's career

1955: Born Oct. 5 - Hometown Dawsonville

1963: Age 8, Received his first racecar, a Ford Fairlane, from his father George Elliott

1974: Age 19, Began short track racing at the Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga.

1976: Age 21, First Winston Cup race at Carolina 500

1978: Age 23, First Daytona 500 race

1981: Age 26, Partners with Harry Melling and Melling Racing, won the season-long Ingersoll-Rand crew competition with brother Ernie as crew chief

1983: Age 28, First career victory at Riverside International Raceway in California

1984: Age 29, Sponsored by Coor's Brewing Company, wins Miller High Life 500 and Hodgdon American 500

1985: Age 30

• Wins Daytona 500, Winston 500 and Southern 500, earning him the Winston Million

• 11 superspeedway wins (winning 11 races and 11 poles)

• Featured on the September cover of Sports Illustrated

• Named "American Driver of the Year" by the nation's Motorsports media

• Nicknamed "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville" and "Million Dollar Bill" for record-setting season

1987: Age 32, Named the "American Driver of the Year" by the nation's Motorsports media, set the fastest one-lap speed record at 212.809 mph at Talladega

1988: Age 33, Winston Cup Championship winner

1995: Age 40, Starts own team and assumed sole ownership a year later, gains sponsorship with McDonalds

1998: Age 43, Inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

2003: Age 48, Retires name from NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award contest after a record 16 wins prior (1984-88, 1991-2000, 2002)

2004: Age 49, Leaves full time racing

2007: Age 52, Started racing part-time

Since 1976, Elliott has participated in close to 810 races to date, achieved 44 wins and collected 55 career poles




Dawsonville's Bill Elliott was at the top of the list Wednesday afternoon when NASCAR's 2015 Hall of Fame class was announced.

The 1988 Winston Cup Champion secured more than 87 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility in the hall of fame.

The 16-time most popular driver had been considered a frontrunner for inclusion since NASCAR made rule changes that allow any driver that competed for 30 years eligible for induction, as well as drivers that have reached their 55th birthday.

At 58, Elliott meets both criteria.

With 44 wins in the series, including two Daytona 500 victories and a record four consecutive wins at Michigan International Speedway, Elliott holds the track records for fastest qualifying speed at Daytona and Talladega.

He was among 20 nominees for the hall of fame's sixth induction class.

Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly, Rex White and Fred Lorenzen were also voted into the hall of fame.