Taco Bell Team Efforts Paying Off on Track Gilliland-Sospenzo Combo Earns Top-20 and Aims Higher Statesville, N.C. (October 12, 2010) - The new driver-crew chief combination of David Gilliland and Peter Sospenzo is working so well, they seem to...
Taco Bell Team Efforts Paying Off on Track
Gilliland-Sospenzo Combo Earns Top-20 and Aims Higher
Statesville, N.C. (October 12, 2010) - The new driver-crew chief combination of David Gilliland and Peter Sospenzo is working so well, they seem to read each other's minds. Gilliland's 20th-place finish at Auto Club Speedway last weekend is evidence of the team's progress in the past several weeks since the driver and crew chief were paired together.
Now the No. 38 Taco Bell team carries that momentum to Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway for Saturday night's Bank of America 500. Gilliland has eight previous Sprint Cup starts at the 1.5-mile oval in Concord, with a top finish of 25th. The team had a fast Taco Bell Ford in the spring race at Charlotte, and ran better than its 26th-place finish indicates, thanks to multiple untimely cautions that kept Gilliland off the lead lap.
Comments from Taco Bell Driver David Gilliland on Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Recently Announced Big-Screen Videoboard and Progress with Crew Chief Peter Sospenzo:
"We ran half-way decent earlier in the year at Charlotte in the (Coca-Cola) 600. Charlotte's a great place to race. It seems like everybody on the crew has their friends and family out at the track because it's close to home.
"Everybody on the team has been putting a lot of effort into our cars and I think we have quite a bit better mile-and-a-half package than we did earlier in the year. So, we're obviously looking to improve on our last run. I feel like we've been making some good progress lately. We have had some stuff happen during the races, but I think we've remedied those issues and we can go on and get a good finish.
"Putting on a good show at Charlotte is important to the whole NASCAR community. There are so many friends and family of team members and drivers and owners here in North Carolina, so it seems like it's always a full house at Charlotte. And I think it will be a good show. With the 'Chase' and everything happening, there's a lot of excitement and I think there will be a lot of action.
"I think the new big-screen they're putting in (at Charlotte Motor Speedway) will be great. For the fans to be able to watch that and have instant replay and everything will be cool. Talking to fans about what they like and don't like about going to the racetrack, they sometimes will say they like having instant replay at home. So, I think a screen like that will bring them closer to the action and combine the excitement of being there with the benefits of watching it on TV.
"I've been working with crew chief Peter Sospenzo for the last handful of races and I really enjoy it. I feel like we make a lot of progress from the time we unload the car at the track to the time the race starts and even throughout the race. I think our communication is really good and, a lot of times, we think the same.
"You hear about chemistry between a driver and a crew chief, and that's something you can't teach. For example, if I'm in the car and the car is loose, I might be thinking of an adjustment we should make, and I'll tell Peter the car is loose and he'll say the same adjustment that I was thinking. So, I feel really good about our relationship and feel like there's a lot of opportunity for us to go on and have some good success.
"Last week at Fontana was an example of our progress as a team. We worked on our Taco Bell Ford Fusion all weekend and made a huge amount of changes and just made it a lot better. We put a competitive car on the track, made some great calls during the race and came home with a top-20 finish. I think that's just a start at how good we can be. I know we can do even better."
-source: front row motorsports