Daytona Shootout: Gilliland post-race interview

DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd) HOW DID IT FEEL? "It felt really good. Our main deal going into tonight was just to get some experience and try to earn some respect running with these guys and just get it to where...

DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion (Finished 2nd)

HOW DID IT FEEL?

"It felt really good. Our main deal going into tonight was just to get some experience and try to earn some respect running with these guys and just get it to where they'll work with us more on next Sunday. I feel like we accomplished that. I feel like we worked with some people really well and made some friends out there. Bringing home a good finish wasn't bad either and I'm real proud of all our guys and our M&M's Ford Fusion. We unloaded yesterday and it was very good in practice and, like I said, I just couldn't be more proud."

DENNY HAMLIN USED A WIN LAST YEAR AS A SPRINGBOARD TO A GREAT SEASON. CAN YOU DO THE SAME?

"I'm hoping to. This sport is a lot about momentum. Hopefully we can come out of this whole week long journey down here and build some momentum and what no better way to start than to bring home a second-place finish tonight. That's the biggest thing, just build some momentum. We had a great test at Vegas and we're hoping to do it for sure."

DO YOU FEEL YOU'VE EARNED SOME TRUST WITH THE OTHER DRIVERS?

"I'm earning it. Just like Kurt (Busch) said, it's a process and it's gonna take time. You just have to try and keep doing everything right and that's what I've been trying to do. Early in the run we had a real strong car and a guy got loose and kind of got in my right-front fender a little bit and then I couldn't run side-by-side with anybody. We had to go to the back and the guys fixed it during the pit stop. That very last pit stop, we were tight until that very last pit stop and Todd Parrott made some adjustments and that thing was a rocket ship. It was really good. I'm just very fortunate with Todd Parrott. He's had a lot of success here and I'm just the lucky guy to get to drive it."

DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAD A SHOT TO WIN?

"I don't know. Like I said, I tried to go and make some moves early on and got hung out to dry and went straight to the back. The opportunity was gonna have to be pretty perfect for me to try and do something. Like Kurt said, he was coming up there and gave me a couple of good pushes, but nothing enough to really hang my neck out on the line. The right opportunity wasn't there. I'm still learning about those opportunities and how to do that. I'm better than I was when I started the race, but I'm still learning."

DID YOU THINK ABOUT DOING TO TONY WHAT TONY DID TO KYLE?

"I thought about it, but I could never get to his back bumper. I gave him a pretty good push when he got down there to Kyle's bumper, but it's tough. I'm still learning the aero tendencies of the cars. The car feels like it has a bubble on it. You'll be able to get up to somebody and right when you think you're gonna be able to bump-draft him, it really shoots him away, so I'm still learning that judgment and trying to learn that."

DID RICKY RUDD HELP SPOTTING?

"Yeah, Ricky went up there. Ricky Rudd, man, I can't say enough about him as a teammate. He's really taken me under his arm. He's helped me more in the last month than any other driver has in my whole career and I'm just very thankful to have him. But, yeah, he went up there. We've also got Earl (Barban), who spotted for Jimmie Johnson last year. As a rookie, all of those little pieces you can put into place to cut that learning curve down as fast as you can, I'm very lucky to have that. But, yeah, Ricky was up there. We had like 14 to go after the pit stop and he said, 'Your car didn't start getting tight until after about 15-16 laps, so just go for it.' Having that sense of confidence in your ear from somebody like Ricky Rudd means a lot."

IS THIS A SHOCK TO YOU WITH ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED THE LAST YEAR?

"Yeah, it is a big shock. Somebody asked me earlier where I was this time last year and I was in the shop. I didn't even have a chance to watch the Daytona 500. We were working on our Busch cars and trying to build a team from nothing. To be here one year later is crazy. I keep saying it's a dream come true and I hope I don't wake up from it. So many things have happened so fast and I'm just trying to keep up, just trying to keep up with them all. I've got a great sponsor in M&M's and Ford and Robert Yates. They took a big chance on me. All I did was win one Busch race and, really, had a golden opportunity here. They took a big chance on me and I'm just doing everything I can to make them proud and try to be in this series for a long time."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robert Yates