Gilliland Qualifies TRG Motorsports Chevy for Auto Club 500 Fontana, Calif. (February 20, 2009) - David Gilliland qualified the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS in 32nd place for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Auto ...
Gilliland Qualifies TRG Motorsports Chevy for Auto Club 500
Fontana, Calif. (February 20, 2009) - David Gilliland qualified the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS in 32nd place for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Auto Club Speedway.
Gilliland, originally from nearby Riverside, worked hard all day with crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe on the No. 71 Chevy and made the right adjustments to get TRG Motorsports their first Sprint Cup Series start. The California native ran a lap time of 39.948 seconds, 180 mph, securing a 16th row starting position.
"It was tough, it was on my nerves a little bit," Gilliland said. "We are through the first hurdle and we have her in the race on Sunday. We have some more time to work on it in practice tomorrow. I feel real good about the car. I think everyone at TRG Motorsports has done a phenomenal job, worked real hard in a short amount of time to get the car prepared and driving real well. I am really excited to be racing on Sunday. For everybody at TRG Motorsports their hard work has paid off."
Gilliland knows what it takes to have a good car at the Auto Club Speedway, a track where he has more experience than any other that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits.
"The car doesn't need to change a whole lot for the race from the qualifying setup. It is in the race track, which it needs to be to race good and qualify well. The car overall drives good and it has been responding well to changes in qualifying trim. That is the biggest thing, having a car that responds well to changes. Slugger has a great plan for the race. Hopefully we can put together a good solid finish."
TRG Motorsports' team principal Kevin Buckler is excited to see the TRG colors take the green flag for the team's first Sprint Cup start.
"The team did an excellent job," Buckler said. "Right off of the trailer Slugger and David focused on the qualifying setup to get the car in the field. The work was precise and moved us forward with every change. David responded well to the pressure of getting the car in the field. I know there are a lot of our partners that are really excited now as we are all in this together. We are head down and making the car even better for the race."