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Elliott To Drive For Phoenix Racing In Cup Series In 2011

Despite an earlier denial by Phoenix Racing owner James Finch, the team has announced that Bill Elliott will drive the team’s No. 09 Sprint Cup entry for a limited number of races beginning with the 2011 Daytona 500. At this point, the plan is to have Elliott behind the wheel for 18 Cup races depending on sponsorship.

Finch said:

It’s great to have NASCAR’s most popular driver ever in our car. We’ve been friends with him a long time and we’re happy to have him in the car.

The team will use equipment and engines from Hendrick Motorsports and Nick Harris will be atop the pitbox for Elliott.

Phoenix also plans to scale back its Nationwide Series efforts, instead focusing on it’s Cup team. The team plans to focus its N’Wide efforts on the restrictor plate races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

In December, Trevor Bayne was reported [1] to be the driver for the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Sprint Cup Ford for the start of the Sprint Cup Series season. At that time, it was reported that Elliott would move to the No. 09 team.

That report was later denied by Finch and WBR.

Earlier this month, it was reported [2] that Bayne would indeed make some starts for WBR in 2011. It is unclear whether or not Elliott will drive select races for WBR in addition to his commitment to Phoenix.