Gilliland Looks for Do-Over at Martinsville
Fast Car Was Derailed by Blown Tire in April Race
Statesville, N.C. (October 25, 2011) - David Gilliland returns to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway looking to pick up where he left off in April - before he had an unfortunate encounter with the outside retaining wall. The driver of the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford Fusion had a good-handling car but suffered significant damage when a blown tire put him up against the fence early in the race. He eventually finished 33rd.
Sunday's Tums Fast Relief 500 will be Gilliland's 11th career start at Martinsville. His 19th-place finish last year for Front Row was his best result to date at the .526-mile oval and the best-ever finish for Front Row Motorsports at the track.
Comments from Front Row Motorsports driver David Gilliland heading into Martinsville:
"Last time in Martinsville we had some tire issues and some brake-cooling issues and it made for a really long weekend. We're going to have a better shot at it this time. We worked on our brake-cooling package on the front and we haven't had problems since. So, we're definitely going in there this weekend with a lot more confidence. The car drove well last time, actually. We just had tire issues.
"Martinsville is a challenging racetrack. I'd be lying if I said it was a favorite of mine. It's a piece of cake when you're by yourself, but when you get 43 cars out there, it gets really tight really quick. But I know for a fact we'll be better this time. So, I'm excited to go back and get another shot at it and improve our results.
"Martinsville is also a big 'payback' track. Because you're not going the high speeds of a superspeedway or even a mile-and-a-half track, it's a little easier if a guy owes somebody to get him back without causing too much damage or hurting him. So, that's another thing you kind of have to watch out for. Some guys have certain intentions when they hit the track and if you happen to be nearby, you might get collected as an innocent bystander. So, you've definitely got to be on your toes.
"We had a strong car last weekend at Talladega. Travis (Kvapil) and I worked really well together. Our Ford Fusions were really fast paired up and it felt great to push our way to the front and run up there for most of the race. It's too bad we kind of got backed up at the end because I think we really had a chance to finish up front. We just ran out of room on those final laps and had nowhere to go."