Daytona 500: David Gilliland Media Day interview

Ford Racing 2008-02-07 DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 38 freecreditreport.com Ford Fusion YOU ALREADY HAD THE DRIVER'S UNIFORM FROM LAST YEAR, SO THIS SPONSOR ANNOUNCEMENT IS KIND OF CONVENIENT, ISN'T IT? "Yeah, we're real excited. Everybody at...

Ford Racing
2008-02-07

DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 38 freecreditreport.com Ford Fusion

YOU ALREADY HAD THE DRIVER'S UNIFORM FROM LAST YEAR, SO THIS SPONSOR ANNOUNCEMENT IS KIND OF CONVENIENT, ISN'T IT? "Yeah, we're real excited. Everybody at Yates Racing has worked real hard over the winter and we were able to put a deal together with freecreditreport.com for the first seven races and everybody is real excited. It's really brought a lot of life into the shop and, hopefully, this is the first thing of many things to come. I had a relationship last year in the Nationwide Series with them. They're a California-based company. I grew up right down the street from where they're at and we really have a great relationship with those people."

IS THERE AN INDICATION THAT IF YOU GET OFF TO A GOOD START THAT IT COULD EXPAND TO MORE RACES? "Yeah, absolutely. Right now, being that everything is so new, I think we just need to get going and show everybody what we can do, but I feel really good. Travis has a lot of experience. He's a champion and won a lot of races, and I feel like Max and Doug have really come together and put everything into our team that we think we need to go out and win races."

WHERE IS YOUR TEAM AT AFTER ALL THIS PRESEASON TESTING? "I feel like we're ready to hit the ground running. I feel like Travis and I were both competitive at all the tests we've been to and with a little bit of engineering help from Roush and getting our chassis from them is really gonna put us ahead of where we were last year. Last year we were behind and never could catch up and I feel like we've taken five steps forward over the winter. We've built all new race cars and with the way they've performed the last couple weeks in testing, I feel like we're ready to unload and be competitive week-in and week-out."

CAN YOU FEEL A DIFFERENCE IN THE CARS VERSUS WHAT YOU HAD LAST YEAR? "Yeah, for sure. It was kind of funny, at Vegas I felt like our car actually drove better than our car did last year there and I haven't been able to say that around a car of tomorrow race yet, so I'm excited. I feel like we've got a little bit of ways to go. I think everybody does with the new car, but we've really learned a lot and I felt really good about our tests."

WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THE BUD SHOOTOUT? "I'm excited. I think it's great for our team to be able to run that race. There were some things when we came down here and tested that worked out really well, but we're not sure how it's gonna do in a race, so it's gonna give us an opportunity to try some things that maybe we wouldn't try in the 500, but I'm really excited about it. I think it's a great way to go and knock the rust off and race before the 500. I feel like it's a great opportunity for our team to maybe get that little step and little advantage over some of the other teams come Sunday. Last year we drew number 13 and finished second, so this year we're gonna try to improve that finishing position by one."

HOW HAVE YOU GROWN AS A DRIVER WITH ALL THE CAR CHANGES YOU'VE ENDURED? "Every year it gets a little bit easier. Last year, I remember being here and it was my first time ever to Daytona and I remember sitting here so overwhelmed by everything. Now, all of that is kind of behind me and I'm just excited and looking forward to the race. This was probably one of the best weeks of last year for us in terms of racing. Between the Shootout and the 500 and qualifying it was just a great week, so it's a place I've been looking forward to coming back to and I'm looking forward to running the 50th Daytona 500."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers David Gilliland
Teams Yates Racing