Atlanta: David Gilliland race report

TRG Motorsports Cracks the Top 35 In NASCAR Owner Points; Gilliland Finishes Capital Window/TRG Motorsports Chevy 24th in Atlanta Atlanta, Georgia (March 8, 2009) - David Gilliland raced the No. 71 Capital Window/TRG Motorsports/Chevrolet Impala...

TRG Motorsports Cracks the Top 35 In NASCAR Owner Points; Gilliland Finishes Capital Window/TRG Motorsports Chevy 24th in Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia (March 8, 2009) - David Gilliland raced the No. 71 Capital Window/TRG Motorsports/Chevrolet Impala SS to a 24th place finish in today's running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

With the finish Gilliland and the team has done the impossible and cracked the top 35 in owner points, now occupying the 34th spot in the Sprint Cup Series points standings going into an off weekend before Bristol.

Gilliland started the 500-mile race off in a hurry. By lap 63 he had raced from his 31st starting position to 16th. The team made several adjustments on the No. 71 over the evening and gave Gilliland a car that was "120% better than it was all weekend." The team pitted, with more than half of the field, on lap 65 when an untimely caution flew on lap 66, sending the team two laps down. As a result Gilliland came to the restart on lap 73 in 24th place. The remainder of the race was spent filling the notebook for the future and gathering as many points paying places as possible.

"I am real proud of the TRG Motorsports team," Gilliland said. "We all have a lot to be proud of. We had a better car at the beginning and the caution came out and caught us, costing us laps. We were solidly on the lead lap the first part of the race. After that the car went loose on us. I was real happy with the result. Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) and the guys did a great job last night and this morning to make the car better. We were competitive. Everyone knows that we were here today."

The finish resulted in a good points paying day for this new team.

"We didn't put a scratch on the car for the third race in a row. That is our first goal as we don't have 10 of them sitting at the shop. We are doing what we have to do right now and I am real proud of all of the guys."

Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team principal, has kept this team on a mission to make races and finish them.

"David did another solid job today," Buckler said. "Slugger and the team really worked some magic on the car last night and this morning. In the final practice we were way down on the time sheet as we worked on the race setup on used tires and it paid off. When the green flag dropped we were the second fastest car on the track. David was running an enthusiastic race when a tire got away from the 47 team bringing out a yellow flag exactly after we had pitted and caused us to go two laps down. We are leaving here with our car in one piece and our brand new team inside the top 35 in owner points. That is really cool."

The series will take a weekend off and then move onto Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 500 on March 22.

-credit: trgm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kevin Buckler , David Gilliland
Teams TRG Motorsports