Gilliland Brings 'Missing' Pieces to Martinsville
Will Put Newer Equipment to Test at Short Track
Statesville, N.C. (March 29, 2011) - David Gilliland believes Front Row Motorsports filled in some gaps in the off-season that will help his Taco Bell Ford team compete at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The fleet of cars the team purchased from Richard Petty Motorsports could be just what the No. 34 team needs to elevate their game at the half-mile, paperclip-shaped track this weekend.
Gilliland earned a 19th-place finish in last year's spring race at Martinsville - a career best at the track - and looks to better that mark at this weekend's Goody's Fast Relief 500. Sunday's race will be his 10th Cup start on the concrete-and-asphalt oval.
Comments from Taco Bell driver David Gilliland heading into Martinsville:
"Martinsville is a super tough track. I feel like it's probably one of the most physically demanding races of everywhere we go. It's 500 laps, and you're on the brakes a lot, and your legs are tired. It's just a very demanding track. And it was probably one of our worst racetracks as a company last year.
"I feel like, with the new cars that we got from RPM, they're lighter and hold more lead. I personally feel like that's what we were missing last year at those type of tracks. So, now I'm looking forward to going there and really seeing the improvements that we made in the shop transfer over to the racetrack.
"We need a good race this weekend. We've had some bad luck the last couple races, so we need to bounce back with a good run at Martinsville. And I definitely feel like this is a place where we can do that. With the newer equipment, the new FR9 motors and (crew chief) Peter Sospenzo's experience, I know we can be better here this year. Last fall was the first time Peter and I worked together at Martinsville. So, going back now, especially with these newer cars, I think we'll be in good shape.
"Martinsville is really the last place you want to have a bad day. It's like being on crutches in the middle of a stampede. You can't get out of the way, and everyone's pushing and shoving around you. So, it's really important to get your car the best it can be for the race. And with the track moving qualifying to Saturday, that'll give us all day Friday to really work on our Taco Bell Ford and get it running as best we can for qualifying. You don't want to start too far in the back at Martinsville because, at a track like that, you can find yourself laps down in a hurry."
- source: front row motorsports