Gilliland Looks for Road-Course Repeat
Team Takes 12th-Place Sonoma Car to Glen
Statesville, N.C. - David Gilliland might not top your list of drivers considered road-course specialists, but his 12th-place run at Sonoma in June should have you keeping an eye on him at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International this weekend.
Gilliland commanded attention at Infineon Raceway during the Sprint Cup Series' first road-course race this season, running in the top-10 for most of the event. Now Gilliland and the No. 34 team will take that same Ford Fusion to the 2.45-mile road course amid New York's Finger Lakes for Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen. It will be Gilliland's fourth career start at Watkins Glen.
Gilliland is coming off a strong run last weekend at Pocono Raceway, where the team improved their car all weekend and ran a smart race to earn a 23rd-place finish.
Comments from Front Row Motorsports team driver David Gilliland heading to Watkins Glen:
"We're definitely hoping to run as well as we did in Sonoma. That was a great day for our team. We're bringing the same car back and we feel like we learned a lot at Sonoma that really helped our road-course program. Watkins Glen just has some higher-speed corners that are a little different that we're working on.
"For me personally, Watkins Glen hasn't been as good as Sonoma, but Peter's (crew chief Peter Sospenzo) had a lot of success there, so together I think we're strong as a team. I'm going to lean on his experience a little and just muscle up behind the wheel. I feel like together we should have a better weekend than in the past.
"Road racing is definitely different. It's very demanding, physically. You're not only racing for three and a half hours but now you're shifting multiple times a lap and turning right. It's just kind of adding another element to what we do on a weekly basis, but I enjoy it.
"It's fun and I think that makes the biggest difference - how you go into a race like that. If you're looking forward to doing it, it's better obviously. Then there's some guys that don't like road racing at all, so going into a race like that for them, they don't look forward to it and probably don't enjoy it as much as someone that is looking forward to doing it. I really like it, so I get excited every time we go to a road course, and I think that's an advantage behind the wheel. Other guys might be more tentative and be in more of a survival mode, you know? But my mentality is I want to be up front, and I'm going to push and claw to try to get there."