Gilliland to Start 38th at Daytona Daytona Beach, FL, (July 3, 2009) - David Gilliland will start the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS from the 19th for tomorrow's running of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International ...
Gilliland to Start 38th at Daytona
Daytona Beach, FL, (July 3, 2009) - David Gilliland will start the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS from the 19th for tomorrow's running of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Qualifying for the race was canceled due to rain, so the field is aligned in order of owner points.
The team unloaded the No. 71 Chevy and witnessed fast speeds right off of the truck. Richard (Slugger) Labbe, crew chief, was immediately able to go to work on race setup, which is important as this is an impound race, no working on the cars after qualifying.
"We are in the race and we are ready to go," Gilliland said. "Everyone on this team has something to prove as really none of us were in the 500. We were able to work on the drivability of the car in practice yesterday and we had it really good toward the end of the day. I am confident we would of had a good qualifying session. I feel real comfortable with what we have going into the race."
Qualifying is not as important at Daytona, the third restrictor plate race of the season.
"You can go from the back to the front and the front to the back all night long at this track. Handling is big here. At Talladega it is a little harder to go to the front, but here it is easier. You can go to the front here really whenever you want. We will be adjusting on the car during the race and we are ready to have a good night tomorrow."
Strategy will play a role in the race which will take the green flag at approximately 8:20 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, evening.
"I will get with Slugger and get the strategy straight for the race. We are probably going to hang out and log some laps and make sure we get through towards the end so we are in a good position for the last quarter of the race."
Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team principal, has righted the wrong of not qualifying for the 500.
"It was tough to miss the Daytona 500 in February," Buckler said. "It was a bitter pill for us to go home and not race, but we have gotten our redemption. The guys did a great job with the car all weekend. We unloaded and had the speed to qualify and went right to work on the handling. David is very comfortable here and we are ready to have a solid run tomorrow night. We are still actively looking for that special sponsor partner for this great little team."
Buckler is pulling double duty this weekend, is driving with Spencer Pumpelly in the Grand-Am Rolex Series Brumos 250 in one of TRG's four Porsches entered in the race. Buckler has a strong history as a driver at Daytona having won the 24 Hour GT race in 2002, overall in 2003, and as a car owner this past January. The Rolex race will run at Saturday 2:00 p.m. on Daytona's road course.
The Coke Zero 400 will be televised live on TNT with the broadcast beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.