Gilliland Falls for Popular Tourist Attraction
World's Largest Horseshoe Could Bring Good Luck
Statesville, N.C. (August 16, 2011) - As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series continues its trek around the Great Lakes region, driver David Gilliland forges ahead on his four-race family motorhome trip with a visit to one of North America's most famous landmarks. The driver of the No. 34 Ford and his family are hitting Niagara Falls, Ontario, for an up-close look at the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.
Gilliland hopes the horseshoe carries some luck. His No. 34 team heads to Michigan International Speedway this weekend, where they hope to improve on their flat-track racing. Gilliland has a career-best 17th-place finish at Michigan (2007), but has not matched that success in his past several visits.
The team hit on some set-up success at Pocono Raceway two weeks ago, and they expect that knowledge to help them in their set-up at the low-banked, two-mile oval for this weekend's Pure Michigan 400.
Comments from team driver David Gilliland heading to Niagara Falls and Michigan:
"We hit Niagara Falls on our trip last year, but we stayed on the American side, so this year we're going over to the Canadian side. It's tourist-y but it's fun. The falls, the wax museums, the boat ride with the big, funny-looking raincoats...everything. Bring it on. We're regular tourists doing the whole package.
"We've had a lot of fun over the last couple weeks on our road trip - camping, fishing, riding roller coasters and stuff at Cedar Point. Setting up the motorhome in the campgrounds is still a little bit of an adventure. I admit I'm not a pro yet. But it's been fun. And it's not over yet. We still have another week to go.
"We had a tough break last week at Watkins Glen, breaking a brake rotor. But Peter (crew chief Peter Sospenzo) and the guys hit on some really good stuff at Pocono a couple weeks ago that helped us there and, I think, will also help us at Michigan. So, we plan on turning our luck back around. We also have a third car now and they've been trying some stuff and I think that's going to help us in the long term.
"Michigan is a tough place, but we're not going to give up. It's a neat racetrack. It's a fun track to race on because it's so wide and you can race so many different places on the track and you can pass. It's something that we need to be more competitive on as an organization, and I think we will be. I feel like we have a package going there that will be better than we've had in the past.
"If I had to aim for a goal for the weekend, I think top-20 finishes for both teams would be a success. In this deal you're not going to take one swing at it and improve 20 places on your finish from last time. But it's base hits and that's what we need to do, and I think a top-20 would be a great step for us as an organization.
"We'll be doing an autograph session with NASCAR at Michigan. It's something they just started recently this season, and I think it's a good thing. Growing up, as I was racing the short-track stuff, we had autograph sessions every week. It's different to meet a driver or anyone in person than to just see them on T.V., so I think it's great. I'm looking forward to doing it. Hopefully, there will be a lot of fans there for us to get to meet."