Daytona 500: Gilliland - Media Day visit

DAVID GILLILAND - No. 38 Taco Bell Ford Fusion

WHAT KIND OF IMPROVEMENTS CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU GUYS THIS YEAR? "I think you can expect big improvements. I think everybody at Front Row Motorsports has been working real hard over the winter. We have some new cars that we got from Richard Petty Motorsports last year with them downsizing to two cars. That has helped us a bunch. Ford has stepped up their engineering support with us and I feel like we have a better motor program. Those are three big things. I am back working with Peter Sospenzo and I think those are all key ingredients on getting our Taco Bell Ford Fusion faster."

YOU GUYS DIDN'T TEST, SO WHERE ARE YOU GUYS AS FAR AS BEING PREPARED FOR THIS RACE AND SPEEDWEEKS IN GENERAL? "I think we are really prepared. With Ford support and leaning on some of the other Ford teams that did come out and test, that has helped to push us along and get us up to speed. Getting the cars from RPM happened a little bit late, so we were kind of behind. We figured that staying back and getting more prepared to come out there rather than to throw something together just to come test would be more beneficial to Front Row Motorsports."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE AT A DISADVANTAGE WITH THE NEW TRACK SURFACE THIS YEAR? HAVE YOU BEEN OUT THERE AT ALL? "No, I haven't, but I have talked to a lot of people that have been out here and they are all saying that it is quite a bit like Talladega. It is smooth but has some bumps in three and four. I watched a little of the test on TV. I think we will be fine."

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU TO GET ACCLIMATED WITH SINGLE CAR RUNS TO BE ABLE TO KNOW WHAT YOUR CAR CAN AND CAN'T DO WHEN YOU EVENTUALLY GET INTO A BIG PACK? "You won't know that until you get into drafting practice but everybody I have talked to has said that the cars have a lot of grip. The more grip the track has then the more you will see big packs of cars racing together. That will be fine. We have a new nose this year, which will be different. If it was a mile-and-a-half track, I would say it would be more important to come down here and test. Being that it is Daytona and we have notes from Talladega, I think set-up wise it will be similar to that, way more than it used to be. We have those notes and a week and a half down here to figure it out."

ARE YOU ANXIOUS TO GO OUT THERE AND FINALLY SEE WHAT IT IS LIKE? "Yeah, I am looking forward to my first laps out there, believe me."

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS THIS YEAR? "Our goal as a team is to try and get both teams in the top-25 in points. I think that is a realistic goal with our funding and our position. I think we are very capable of doing that. Our pit crews have been working really hard. Our cars hold twice as much lead as they did last year and we are going to run the FR9 engines this year. Those came on really strong last year and in talking to Doug Yates, he feels really excited about what the engines will be able to do this year. Working with Peter Sospenzo, I really enjoyed working with him last year and felt like we really clicked. I just feel we should be able to build on what we have done a little bit last year and I feel like we are ahead starting off the season this year."

-source: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Richard Petty
Teams Front Row Motorsports , Richard Petty Motorsports