FORD RACING ON DAYTONA 500 POLE Gilliland Gives Robert Yates Racing Top Spot For Fifth Time * Today's pole was the 11th all-time for Ford in the Daytona 500. * David Gilliland captured the Daytona 500 pole in his first attempt. * Bill ...
FORD RACING ON DAYTONA 500 POLE
Gilliland Gives Robert Yates Racing Top Spot For Fifth Time
* Today's pole was the 11th all-time for Ford in the Daytona 500.
* David Gilliland captured the Daytona 500 pole in his first attempt.
* Bill Elliott was the first Ford driver to win the 500 pole and he did it in three straight seasons 1985-86-87.
* This marks the fifth time Robert Yates Racing has had a driver on the pole for the Daytona 500. Other RYR drivers to claim the top spot were Davey Allison (1991) and Dale Jarrett (1995, 2000, 2005).
* RYR has now had at least one driver on the front row for the 500 on eight occasions. 2007 (David Gilliland, pole and Ricky Rudd, 2nd); 2006 (Dale Jarrett, 2nd); 2005 (Jarrett, pole); 2004 (Elliott Sadler, 2nd); 2000 (Jarrett, pole and Rudd, 2nd); 1996 (Ernie Irvan, 2nd); 1995 (Jarrett, pole); 1991 (Davey Allison, pole).
* RYR swept the front row one other time when Jarrett (1st) and Rudd (2nd) claimed the top two spots in 2000.
* This is the fifth time Ford has swept the front row for the 500. The others were: 2000 (Jarrett and Rudd); 1992 (Sterling Marlin and Bill Elliott); 1987 (Bill Elliott and Davey Allison); and 1985 (Bill Elliott and Cale Yarborough).
DAVID GILLILAND-RICKY RUDD REACTION ON PIT ROAD
DAVID GILLILAND -- POLE-WINNER
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? "No, I can't. I've said I've been pinching myself for the last eight months and I'm not gonna quit anytime soon. I'm real proud. The guys brought a great M&M's Ford Fusion here this weekend. Todd Parrott is experienced and with the success he's had here and Robert Yates and Doug Yates with the engine package, and the car that all the guys at the shop prepared for me to come out here today is just unbelievable. How about Mars? A Snickers and M&M's front row for the Daytona 500. That's awesome. We're just real glad that we could step up like they stepped up to sponsor our team and hopefully this will be a great start to a great relationship and a good start to the year."
TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS? "What are the odds of that? (Winning the pole in his first attempt) It's unbelievable. We've had a great M&M's Ford Fusion here all weekend. Todd Parrott with all the success he's had here, he's just a great crew chief. He's really taken me under his wing and really, really helped me a lot. More than us on the pole, how about Snickers and M&M's on the front row for Mars Incorporated. That's a great way to start off a new relationship. I'm just real proud of the guys -- Doug and Robert Yates. After some of the stuff that was said about the Yates organization last year, I'm real proud to come out here real strong. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come. We had a great test at Vegas too with our intermediate program, so I feel really strong about that. After the run we had last night we learned a lot and we're looking forward to carrying some of that information over to the 500, so we really feel like the run last night was an advantage for us."
TALK ABOUT WHAT IS REALISTIC FOR SUNDAY? "Realistically, we just want to bring home a good finish and learn some racing tactics for Daytona. We got to learn a little bit last night, which is a great big plus for me being that was my first race ever at Daytona. It's really good and it's realistic that we just want to bring home a good finish and get some momentum rolling to get the year started off right."
HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE DUEL? "I've got to talk to Todd about that. With the limited experience I have here, I really lean on him for all the experience. How about Ricky? He's been a great teammate. When I came to Yates some people questioned the decision, but they've really tried to build their organization and build their team around me, and bringing in guys like Ricky Rudd to help me. We've really been helping each other and I think today being on the front row just shows how closely and how good these teams are working together right now."
WHAT DOES THIS RYR FRONT ROW MEAN TO YOU? "I'm just tickled to death to see this for all the guys that weathered the storm they had last year. They've worked hard over the winter. They've built some awful fast race cars and through my whole career I've never had the fortunate opportunity to work with somebody like David Gilliland. He keeps talking about me helping him, I tell you, I'm learning a lot from him. He's a pretty darn good chassis guy himself. He has a real good feel for a race car, but it's just a lot of fun. It's easy. I don't know how to describe this go-round. It's just a very low pressure deal and everybody sort of believes in each other. Butch Hylton, our crew chief, and Todd Parrott and all the guys have been working really good. They're two teams, but, really, they act as if they're one team and that's just a neat situation to be in."
-credit: ford racing