Sears Point: David Gilliland race report

Gilliland Finishes Havoc Filled Infineon 32nd Sonoma, Calif., (June 22, 2009) - David Gilliland finished the No. 71 Adobe Road Winery Chevrolet Impala SS in 32nd position in yesterday's running of the Toyota Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in...

Gilliland Finishes Havoc Filled Infineon 32nd

Sonoma, Calif., (June 22, 2009) - David Gilliland finished the No. 71 Adobe Road Winery Chevrolet Impala SS in 32nd position in yesterday's running of the Toyota Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.

The team suffered several set-backs during the weekend including losing their primary car in a practice accident on Saturday. The team then leased a car from Earnhardt Ganassi with Felix Sabates, Martin Truex Junior's spare car, and went to work to prepare it for the race. The preparation negated any possible track time on Saturday forcing Gilliland to start the race in a new car from the back of the field without a single lap of practice.

Gilliland was able to follow the plan set forth by crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe throughout the first two-thirds of the race, conserving fuel and setting up for the run to the finish. On lap 82, running in 16th place and poised for a run at a top five, the Riverside, California native went into to turn 11 on the outside and was the victim of a chain reaction crash, caused by Boris Said, resulting in damage to the rear of the car. Gilliland was able to persevere and bring the car to the checkered flag in 32nd.

"The front end of this car was a little tighter," Gilliland said. "It wouldn't turn in as good as our primary car. It wasn't quite as good as our original car. Our primary was much better under braking, especially into turn 11. In that car I could go deeper and fend the guys off from getting inside me, this one I couldn't. I think we did everything we could with the way the weekend played out. The guys did a great job in the pits. The strategy was right on and we were positioned for a good finish at the end. I want to thank Kevin and the partners, they pulled out all of the stops for this weekend. They could have easily made us use the our back-up car which is a short track car, but they went a leased a real road course car from Earnhardt Ganassi, that proves that they are real racers and want to be in the series for a long time."

Gilliland went into turn 11 and was caught on the outside and then collected in a wreck.

"Someone got into the 77, I think the 06 did. He then stood on the gas and just drove into our right rear. That bent the rear end housing and it was impossible to drive fast after that, the rear was all out of alignment. It is not the result on the weekend we were looking for at all. We will bounce back and go onto the next one."

TRG Motorsports team principal, Kevin Buckler, who lives in nearby Marin, County, knows how treacherous turn 11 at his home track of Infineon can be.

"I can't tell you how many times I have seen that exact same crash in that corner over the years," Buckler said. "You can't always be on the inside going in there, as much as you may try, and we just were the victim of someone else's mistake you have got to keep the inside lane closed. This team really showed what they were made of this weekend. We took an unfamiliar car and had it headed for a top 10 or better finish today. The guys really worked hard, as disappointing as the outcome was for us, I can't be down on the team for the huge effort they put in all weekend losing our primary car and preparing a different car for the race. This weekend, again, really shows what this team is made of and how we can perform. We are still feverishly looking for a sponsor/partner to keep this great effort on the track."

The team will travel to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Sunday, June 28th's running of the Lenox Industrial Tools 301.

-credit: trgm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Boris Said , Kevin Buckler , David Gilliland , Felix Sabates
Teams TRG Motorsports