Aric Almirola was one of Phoenix's drivers last year. (Getty Images for NASCAR)
Former NASCAR Cup Series champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner Bill Elliott will contest at least 18 Sprint Cup races with the Phoenix Racing team this year.
The 1988 title winner has only raced part time since 2004, contesting around a dozen Cup rounds per season in recent years, but will ramp up his schedule in 2011 as he drives for a Chevrolet team for the first time in his 35-year career.
"This may well be my last really good chance as a driver," Elliott said. "I'm going to give it my best shot. I feel like I'm still in good shape, and I thought we ran pretty good last year."
Team boss James Finch is confident that 55-year-old Elliott can be effective this season.
"It's big for us and big for Chevrolet to get Bill Elliott," Finch said. "With the right equipment, he's ready. He was just a couple of hundredths of a second off the pole at Homestead last year."
Phoenix won its first race with Brad Keselowski at Talladega in 2009 but had a difficult 2010 campaign with a number of drivers. Elliott expects Phoenix's 2011 package – which includes Hendrick-prepared engines – to be more competitive.
"I think this will be a really good deal," said Elliott. "James has really good racecars, and there's no doubt about the Hendrick equipment. After all, look at all the championships they've won."