Gilliland Ready to Pick Bluegrass Tune Clay Andrews Racing looks to get back on track STATESVILLE, NC -- David Gilliland and his Clay Andrews Racing (CAR) crew will be making their first ever start at the Kentucky Speedway this weekend. ...
Gilliland Ready to Pick Bluegrass Tune
Clay Andrews Racing looks to get back on track
STATESVILLE, NC -- David Gilliland and his Clay Andrews Racing (CAR) crew will be making their first ever start at the Kentucky Speedway this weekend. The Meijer 300 presented by Oreo will mark the seventh race weekend that the new team has entered in 2006. CAR is participating on a limited basis in 2006 to fully prepare for a full-time effort in 2007.
1.5 mile, intermediate tracks like Kentucky have been good to the Riverside, Calif. native. His best start and finish of the season came at the Texas Motor Speedway. In that race Gilliland took the green flag in 11th position and the checkered flag in 29th.
"We are as prepared to go to Kentucky as we have been for any race so far this season," said Billy Wilburn, crew chief. "We are on the same tire as California so we have a few tire notes. Our two best races of the year were probably Las Vegas and Texas and Kentucky has similarities of both."
"There are spots at Kentucky where an aggressive driver like David can make up some time. I expect him to find those spots and give us a good finish."
With the new testing rule you have used racing simulation to help your learning curve on tracks on which you have never competed. Does Denny Hamlin's win at Pocono, assisted by racing simulation, lend credibility to this practice?
"Definitely. The biggest area it helps is with your lifting and braking points. If you can go to a track and know where to lift, where to pick up the gas, etc. obviously that is one less thing to have to spend practice to work on. You can also see what effect different chassis changes will have on your car. This helps in my communication with Billy to get the car dialed in. It really is a useful tool."
CAR got a late start to the season, but you have had some time now to get organized. In what area have you seen the biggest improvements from your first race at the California Speedway to now?
"Communication would be one. In racing there is several different ways to say the same thing. Billy and I communicate really well and that is beginning to carry over to the rest of the team. Other than that we are just becoming more knowledgeable as a team. Hiring Cully Barraclough (team consultant) has been huge because he was just in the Busch Series last year. He is the only one with any extensive Busch Series experience."
An up-coming change in the NASCAR Busch Series has been flying somewhat under the radar. Next month the series will switch from leaded fuel to unleaded fuel. This has caused some concern for engine builders around the sport. Steve Allen, who heads up the motor program for CAR, is getting ahead of the game. This week he will begin putting some motors through stress tests to see how aggressive or regressive he needs to be with the lower octane fuel.