Gilliland Qualifies TRG Motorsports 71 Chevy in 29th at Lowe's Mooresville, North Carolina, (May 21, 2009) - David Gilliland qualified the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS in 29th for Sunday evening's Coca-Cola 600 to be run at Lowe's...
Gilliland Qualifies TRG Motorsports 71 Chevy in 29th at Lowe's
Mooresville, North Carolina, (May 21, 2009) - David Gilliland qualified the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS in 29th for Sunday evening's Coca-Cola 600 to be run at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Gilliland and the team struggled with the handling of the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS during practice, running their fastest time in the very first laps. Gilliland put in a lap of 29.078 and 186 mph that will see him start from the 14th row on Sunday.
"We were 39th in practice and struggled more with the car than we really have all year so far," Gilliland said. "We usually unload a little stronger than that off the trailer. It was tough. We changed a bunch of stuff for qualifying and I really didn't know what to expect. First and foremost we wanted to get in the race and we are comfortably in the field. I am proud of all of the guys. We were not good in practice. No one lost focus. The team dug down and made the changes that helped to get us in the race. We have a direction to go now and Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) usually comes back the next day with a fix that makes us faster."
The handling of car was off in the afternoon practice into the turn and at the exit.
"I was loose in a tight off of the corners in qualifying. Not as bad as I was in practice. We made gains on it. We will take another shot at it in Saturday's practice and be ready for the race on Sunday.
Gilliland is also driving the No. 42 Nationwide car, where he was sixth in practice today.
"We have a good Nationwide car. I am really excited for those guys, they have had a tough year so far and they are really pumped up for the weekend. Hopefully we can run well like we did in the truck race last weekend. I love to race here!"
Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team principal, keeps pushing the team forward.
"This is one weekend where we really weren't that great off of the truck," Buckler said. "When that happens you really rely on your people to get the car right quickly, make the appropriate decisions and make it happen. No one panicked - Slugger and the guys worked step-by-step to get the car better and David did the job in qualifying like he does every weekend. We need to go to work on the race setup and get it right for 600 miles. This is a big weekend for us with a lot of our partners and friends here, so we are over the first hurdle. We are still working hard on partnering with the right sponsor for this great, hungry little team."