Gilliland Has Winning Ways at Sonoma
Driver Eager to Return to Site of Best Cup Finish
David Gilliland has visited Victory Lane at Infineon Raceway in other series leading up to his Sprint Cup career. He's come pretty close in a Cup ride, too. The 1.99-mile Sonoma, Calif., road course is the site of his best Cup career finish - second in 2008.
The California native looks forward to returning to the track where he won races as his father's (Butch Gilliland) crew chief and again later as a driver in the NASCAR K&N West Series. The No. 34 Taco Bell team is prepared to run up front in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 after two days of productive testing at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in recent weeks.
Sunday's race will be Gilliland's sixth Cup start at the road course in California wine country. Last year's race at Infineon showcased a fast Taco Bell Ford, with Gilliland running as high as fourth. In the late laps, he was spun off the course by a competitor and eventually finished 19th.
Comments from Taco Bell driver David Gilliland on going to Sonoma:
"Sonoma is a great place. I've won races in other series there. I also had my best Cup finish at Sonoma - I finished second. It's always a good feeling to go to a track where you have a good history. I'll also be racing on Saturday in the K&N West Series, so I'll get to spend even more time on the track. So, I'm excited to go there.
"We got to go shake our car down at VIR a week or two ago, and it felt really good. I feel that we're as prepared or more prepared than we've been for any race this year. So, that's a good feeling going into a race, especially to a track where you've had success before. I'm really looking forward to going. I think it can be a big day for our Taco Bell Ford team.
"I like road racing. It's just something different. It's something that I haven't done a whole lot of, but it's fun. It's different from what we do every other week. I enjoy the shifting and the different aspects and challenges built into the course that you go through on each and every lap.
"I grew up going to Sonoma with my dad and helping him win races as his crew chief, even before I raced there myself, so I definitely feel comfortable there. It's always good to go home to California and race. It gives us a chance to see some family and friends and it still feels like home."