Atlanta II: David Gilliland preview

Gilliland Ready to Return to his Favorite Track - Atlanta Mooresville, North Carolina, (September 1, 2009) - David Gilliland is ready to take his TRG Motorsports No. 71 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet Impala SS back to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the ...

Gilliland Ready to Return to his Favorite Track - Atlanta

Mooresville, North Carolina, (September 1, 2009) - David Gilliland is ready to take his TRG Motorsports No. 71 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet Impala SS back to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pep Boys Auto 500 to be run Sunday evening, September 6th.

Gilliland calls Atlanta Motor Speedway one of his favorite tracks. The Riverside, California native likes the speed of the Atlanta layout. The team was having a good run, in only their third Sprint Cup race in the spring, when an errant wheel from another competitor went into the infield after the team had just pitted causing a caution flag and sending them down a couple of laps.

"I really like Atlanta," Gilliland said. "It has always been one of my favorite tracks. It is fast, there are three grooves you can run, low, middle and high. You can hunt around and chase the grip all day long if you have to. It is fast, one of the fastest tracks we go to all year. It is hard to get blocked, so you can carry your momentum around and actually make passes."

The race will be run at night, giving the team an added element to think about for race setup.

"This will be the first time we run at night at Atlanta. That is an added twist to a two-day weekend. Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) has a lot of time at the track and always has a plan. We will need to build a lot of adjustability into the car for the race. Normally we practice during the day, qualify at night and run during the day. We have some night time running notes to fall back on this season."

The team will be looking to carry some of the momentum from their Bristol weekend forward to Sunday night.

"I think we can carry some of the momentum forward to this weekend. The guys all really clicked in practice and all weekend at Bristol. We tried a lot of different things on the car to get a good setup and that all goes to communication from me to Slugger and to the guys. Bristol puts a lot of wheel load on the suspension of the car and so does Atlanta. We are also running the same car we ran there in the spring. Like Bristol we have the notes on that car and weekend to start from, which shortens the learning curve on two-day event. We also ran well there in our third race as a team until that tire went rolling out into the infield and put us down a few laps which was no fault of ours."

TRG Motorsports team principal Kevin Buckler wants to carry the momentum from Bristol two weeks ago to Atlanta this weekend.

"We had a great team effort at Bristol," Buckler said. "The team really performed the entire weekend. We need an effort like that in Atlanta. We are close to having a breakthrough performance and this could definitely be the weekend. We were running well there in the spring when the yellow came out for the runaway tire, putting us down a couple of laps. We will have a large contingent of TaxSlayer guests on hand to support our effort and look forward to showing them what we can do."

-credit: trgm

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Series NASCAR-CUP