Bristol: David Gilliland preview

TRG Motorsports Heads to Pivotal Bristol Motor Speedway 3-8-09 Mooresville, North Carolina (March 17, 2009) - After a rare weekend off TRG Motorsports has prepared their No. 71 Capital Window/TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS for the rigors...

TRG Motorsports Heads to Pivotal Bristol Motor Speedway

3-8-09 Mooresville, North Carolina (March 17, 2009) - After a rare weekend off TRG Motorsports has prepared their No. 71 Capital Window/TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS for the rigors of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 to be run at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 22.

This race is pivotal for the team which is now running 34th in the Sprint Cup Series owner standings. The team hopes to improve its owner points position after Bristol to assure its qualification in the upcoming races. Qualifying on Friday will test this team early. The Sprint Cup cars will be running 14 - 15 second lap times with probably 4/10ths of a second separating the pole from those who go home.

The legendary Bristol .533-mile concrete Bull Ring will be a challenge for TRG Motorsports. With the pressure of remaining in the top 35 in owner points as well as the challenge of running Bristol driver David Gilliland is up to the task. Gilliland finished ninth at Bristol in the 2008 August race.

"I finished ninth at Bristol last year in the August race," Gilliland said. "To run ninth again will take some luck. Slugger and all of the guys are preparing a good car. The key to doing well at Bristol is you have to have a strong car. If you have a slow car and you are in the way you are going to get punted, booted and spun out and wrecked. You have to have a good competitive car and try to keep your nose clean. The key is staying out of trouble and being patient. If a faster car is coming you have to be smart and pick your battles. Bristol is very similar to Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield (California) back home. I can relate a lot to that race track. I have run really well at Mesa Marin and I drive Bristol the same way."

"In qualifying at the most there will be a half-second from the pole to the last place guy. The fields are that close now. You just can't make a mistake. You have to be on your game at Bristol. Last year I pitted on the back stretch. Hopefully we can qualify well enough to be pitted on the front stretch. Under green it doesn't really matter, under yellow the front stretch is the place to be."

Although the Sprint Cup series had the weekend off, Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team principal, was busy with his sports car team at Homestead-Miami Speedway where they finished second in the KONI Challenge race. On the Cup side Buckler has been able to keep this small team motivated and focused on the goal of being in the top 34 in owner points.

"We are at the cross roads," Buckler said. "Bristol is so important for this new team. So far we have done everything that we need to do to position the team to run the rest of the season and move up the field and be competitive. Yes there is a lot of pressure this weekend, but we all love it! Running at Bristol only adds to that pressure. We are asking a lot of David and Slugger, but so far they have responded to the pressure and performed. If we can qualify and come away with a good finish I think that we are for a bright future for this tough little team and hopefully attract the necessary sponsor partners to do battle with the big guys the rest of the year."

-credit: trgm

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Buckler , David Gilliland
Teams TRG Motorsports