Gilliland Ready to Get Pushy Again
Team Takes Third-Place Daytona Car to Talladega
Statesville, N.C. (April 12, 2011) - David Gilliland pushed his way to a third-place finish in the 2011 Daytona 500, and he's confident that same No. 34 Taco Bell Ford can run up front at the Sprint Cup Series' next superspeedway. The team will bring the same chassis to Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway this weekend that made a dash for the checkers in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway.
Sunday's Aaron's 499 will be Gilliland's eighth Cup start at the historic 2.66-mile oval. He's no stranger to the front of the pack there. He won the pole in his first race at Talladega (2006) and has a career-best finish of fourth (2007).
Comments from Taco Bell driver David Gilliland on Talladega:
"At Talladega, I think you're going to see a lot of the same thing you saw at Daytona. Hopefully a lot of the same with us up front. We're taking the same car, and I'm excited for it. That kind of racing is different. If you didn't like it at Daytona, then you're probably not going to like it at Talladega. But I liked it and I'm looking forward to doing it again.
"With the change NASCAR made to the restrictor plate, it's not going to make that much of a difference. Here's where you'll see the difference. When you've got pairs of cars hooked up together, but one is hung out by himself, it's just going to make that slow car even slower. I don't think it's going to slow the top speeds down too much because, like we saw at Daytona, when two cars get together they really go.
"I think a lot of teams are working on cooling and different things to be able to push as long as you can. I feel like we've made some really good gains since Daytona that are really going to help us. We have really good speedway cars and the FR9 motors are awesome. Obviously, FR9s finished 1-2-3 at the Daytona 500, and we're going back with the same thing.
"At Daytona, a lot of cars could only push for a few laps and then they had to break away to get some clean air, but our Taco Bell Ford Fusion was able to push for a long time, sometimes as many as 20-plus laps. And that got us a third-place finish. If the race had been one lap longer, I honestly believe we could've won. We had that kind of momentum. So, I really have a lot of confidence in our engine package and our cars that we're going to be taking.
"Front Row Motorsports spent some time at the wind tunnel last week, testing our aero package on a superspeedway car. One of the benefits of working with Ford is they give us access to these resources to help make our cars better. It really helps put us a step ahead when we arrive at the track. So, between what we had at Daytona and this new information we just got, I can't wait to get there."
-source: front row motorsports