Forget Disneyland, Gilliland wants to go to Sonoma

California driver returns to site of best Cup finish and west wins.

STATESVILLE, N.C. - When it comes to Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, David Gilliland is like the child in the backseat who can't wait to get to Disneyland. "Are we there yet?" is the frequent, excited thought in the driver's head in the weeks leading up to the Sprint Cup Series' first road course race of the season.

The California native has always performed well on the winding, hilly course, including a second-place finish in 2008 that is tied with last month's Talladega runner-up finish for his best Cup career result. He also has two wins in the NASCAR K&N West Series at the venue.

Comments from Long John Silver's team driver David Gilliland heading to Sonoma:

David Gilliland
David Gilliland

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

"Sonoma is one of those places that's circled on our calendar. Obviously we're going to put a lot of effort going in there because it's one of those places where we can run well and even contend for a win. I got one of my best finishes there, second, in Cup and I've won multiple races in all other classes there, so I've had a lot of success at that racetrack.

I love it and I can't wait to get back out there. I always enjoy heading out to the west coast, which is home for me. It's just a great event and a great racetrack, and it's a type of racing that I really enjoy doing.

"It's one of those racetracks where you can get to the guy's bumper ahead of you at any time. A lot of these tracks we go to are very aero-sensitive and you can't get to a guy's bumper to move him and it's just hard to pass.

At Sonoma, it can still be hard to pass, but you can overdrive a corner to get to a guy's bumper and move him. And the double-file restarts there, too, have made it a very physical race.

"To me, places like Bristol and Martinsville are places that you pull in the pits and the cars are just tore up. Well, the last couple years at Sonoma, you come in and it looks like a racecar graveyard, like a destruction derby. So it has definitely turned into a very physical race with a lot of bumpin' and bangin'. And that's what kind of makes it fun, too.

"We're glad to have Pick-N-Pull on our car for the Sonoma race. I've raced with them before - actually won with them last year in the West race - and we're happy to have them back. I think they bring good luck so we're happy to have them along for the ride."

Front Row Motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers David Gilliland , John Long
Teams Front Row Motorsports
Article type Preview
Tags ford, gilland, nascar-cup, sonoma