There's No Place like Home Track
Gilliland Brings New Approach to Fontana
Statesville, N.C. (March 22, 2011) - Even though David Gilliland loves coming home to Southern California, he admits he hasn't had the best of luck at Fontana's Auto Club Speedway. But this year, he likes his team's approach to the two-mile, low-banked oval and looks forward to having a fast Taco Bell Ford for the homecoming.
Gilliland is a native of nearby Riverside, Calif., and raced the West Coast tracks of NASCAR's regional series before moving up to the sport's elite national series. He has nine career Sprint Cup Series starts at Auto Club Speedway with a top finish of 17th. With newer equipment for 2011, a powerful Ford FR-9 motor from Roush-Yates Engines and the experience of crew chief Peter Sospenzo, Gilliland looks for a strong run in Sunday's Auto Club 400.
Comments from Taco Bell driver David Gilliland heading into Fontana:
"We obviously had a great start to the season this year and now I'm really looking forward to going back to California. I feel like we've learned some stuff as a company for those types of tracks that will really help us. California and some of the flatter tracks are where we kind of struggled last year, but I feel like we've got a great direction this season.
"I feel good about going there - not just to run well, but also to see all our friends and family and the people that really helped me get where I am today. That's where I got my start in my racing career and there were a lot of people who played a role in that, so it's always good to come back and see them and say thanks. It's always a homecoming kind of feel when we go there.
"When they first announced they were going to shorten the race to 400 miles, I thought it was a good thing. I think a lot of fans were saying 500 miles was too long, and NASCAR has done a really good job of listening to the fans and making changes to give them a better experience. Not just with this, but with a lot of things. They know that it's the fans that drive the sport, so it's important to try to give them what they want when they can.
"We need to bounce back with a good race this week. We had some back luck at Bristol, with running out of gas and then having two tires go down, which was a real shame because we had a fast car. We spent some time running up front and proved once again that we can run up there with our Taco Bell Ford Fusion. So, we need to put the bad luck behind us and go out and have a good run at Fontana."
-source: front row motorsports