Gilliland - Ford interview 2008-09-30

This Week in Ford Racing David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 Ford. Drive one Ford Fusion, is another in a long line of Yates Racing drivers who have enjoyed qualifying success at Talladega Superspeedway, site of this weekend's NASCAR...

This Week in Ford Racing

David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 Ford. Drive one Ford Fusion, is another in a long line of Yates Racing drivers who have enjoyed qualifying success at Talladega Superspeedway, site of this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race. In four career starts at the 2.66-mile restrictor-plate track, Gilliland has a pole (his first at the Cup level), outside pole and three top-15 finishes, including a fourth-place showing in 2007. Davey Allison, Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler are the other Yates drivers to have won a pole at Talladega.

YOU WON YOUR FIRST- EVER POLE AT THE CUP LEVEL AT TALLADEGA. IS THAT SOMETHING THAT YOU THINK ABOUT WHEN THINKING ABOUT THAT TRACK? "Yeah, absolutely. That was our first pole. It's an awesome place to race. I grew up watching a lot of races there on TV, and I remember going there for the first time and have our pole there. Going there with Yates power and Yates cars always gives you an extra boost of confidence, and we're really looking forward to going there."

WHAT IS IT ABOUT YATES RACING AND ITS SUCCESS AT RESTRICTOR-PLATE TRACKS? "I think that the restrictor-plate tracks at Daytona and Talladega always had a special place in Doug and Robert's heart, and they they've worked very, very hard and dedicated a lot of time and effort into their restrictor-plate program, and I think it shows when they go and run well at those tracks. It's something that Yates is very proud of, and, like I say, we're looking forward to going back there. I'm really excited about this year, too, that we've been able to perform well at all of the other different tracks, too - road courses, short tracks and intermediate tracks. So, I feel like our program is much more well-rounded than it has been in the past. But, I'm really excited about going back to Talladega."

IS THE RACING AT TALLADEGA DIFFERENT FROM THE SPRING TO THE FALL BECAUSE OF THE INTRODUCTION OF THE CHASE DRIVERS? OR, IS IT STILL JUST TALLADEGA? "I think Talladega is just one of those places where, obviously, you have to have patience. It's a long race and there's just so much stuff that can happen before it really matters, before you can get to the end, so patience is always a key, which it is each and every week. But, definitely, with the Chase drivers, it changes things a little bit, but each of us still need to go out and try to win races and perform our best each week."

YOU HEAR ABOUT DRIVERS TALKING ABOUT BEING TOLD TO NEVER LIFT OFF THE THROTTLE AT RESTRICTOR-PLATE TRACKS LIKE TALLADEGA. OVER THE COURSE OF A LONG RACE, CAN THAT BE FATIGUING, BOTH PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY? "A little bit. Really, you have to lift quite a bit. If you're out there running by yourself, you wouldn't have to, but once you get into the draft the cars pick up quite a bit of speed, and you can't run the guy over in front of you, either. So, there's a lot of just dragging the brake or lifting off the throttle just a little bit. But you definitely face a lot of different issues there, being that you're full-throttle a lot more, the gas pedal seems to transfer a lot more heat into the pedal which transfers into your foot. So, we do a lot of things like insulate the gas pedal really well; we've made a special bootie guard for the bottom of my shoe for the restrictor-plate tracks. So, there's some of little things that we have to do a little bit differently."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , David Gilliland , Elliott Sadler , Davey Allison
Teams Yates Racing