Gilliland Hopes For Continuation Of Dream With Series Track Debut At California DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2007) -- Talk about a personal whirlwind. Eight months ago, David Gilliland (No. 25 freecreditreport.com Ford) was a part-time...
Gilliland Hopes For Continuation Of Dream With Series Track Debut At California
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2007) -- Talk about a personal whirlwind.
Eight months ago, David Gilliland (No. 25 freecreditreport.com Ford) was a part-time driver in the NASCAR Busch Series competing for a team that consisted of equally part-time love-of-the-sport guys.
But his career path was forever altered when he won his first NASCAR national series race at Kentucky Speedway last June.
Since that victory -- arguably the most memorable in series history -- the Riverside, Calif., native secured a shared full-time ride with Team Rensi Motorsports in the NASCAR Busch Series, a full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series ticket with Robert Yates Racing, won his first premier series pole and just last week, won the pole and led the first 18 laps of the Daytona 500 before finishing eighth.
Gilliland's hometown is a 20 minute drive from California Speedway and although he started his first national series race there last fall in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition, he'll look to make his initial NASCAR Busch Series start at the 2-mile track.
Gilliland's success has come with only 16 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and 12 NASCAR Busch Series starts. But the Rensi/Yates partnership offers him plenty of experience with which to learn.
Bobby Hamilton Jr. (No. 25 McDonald's Ford) is a young veteran who can mentor Gilliland on the NASCAR Busch Series side while the legendary Ricky Rudd holds the same position in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup garage. Hamilton Jr. was a Busch Pole winner at California in 2001.
"So much has taken place over the last eight months," Gilliland said. "There's not an up-and-coming driver out there that doesn't dream about racing in NASCAR's top divisions one day.
"It seems like it wasn't that long ago and I was doing the same thing; now I'm living the dream."