Homestead: David Gilliland race report

No. 02 Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota Finishes 29th in Season Finale from Homestead Homestead, FL -- David Gilliland, driver of the No. 02 Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing, finished 29th tonight in...

No. 02 Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota Finishes 29th in Season Finale from Homestead

Homestead, FL -- David Gilliland, driver of the No. 02 Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing, finished 29th tonight in the Ford 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway.

On Friday afternoon, Gilliland qualified the Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota a stellar 17th and believed that the car would be much better than what it showed throughout practice on Saturday. However, when the green flag dropped David discovered that the No. 02 Toyota wasn't handling as well as he had hoped. For most of the race the Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota wasn't able to rotate through the center of the turns, preventing Gilliland from keeping the car down on the bottom of the track.

"The Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota never handled the way we needed it too. We'd start out every run decent and be able to pass cars -- then it would just get really, really tight in the center and we'd go backwards. It was confusing -- because we started tight, and then went loose and that was better but then back to tight the more laps we ran," said David Gilliland.

Over the course of the race, David Gilliland continued to fight an ill-handling Toyota, as the team worked feverishly to get the car dialed in. Each pit stop the crew would make numerous adjustments to the handling and chassis, but each time the changes made the car better for only a few laps and then the problems would persist.

Nearing the halfway point in the Ford 400 Crew Chief Wally Brown decided to take a huge swing at the car and called for major changes -- spring rubbers out and numerous track bar adjustments. David radioed in later saying, "It still want turn Wally."

Unfortunately, the Joe Gibbs Racing team was never able to figure out the Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Toyota -- eventually finishing 29th.

"We gave these three races 100% effort and I'm proud of everyone on the No.02 team. We had some road blocks being new to each other and with only a few races to learn, but everyone kept at it and showed tremendous heart. It was an honor to represent Farm Bureau Insurance and Joe Gibbs Racing and I look forward to what next season holds," said David Gilliland, after exiting the Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota.

-credit: jgr

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