Open: David Gilliland preview

GILLILAND, M&M'S® JOIN FORCES WITH "SHREK THE THIRD" FOR NEXTEL OPEN CHARLOTTE, NC (May 17, 2007) --Usually M&M'S® driver David Gilliland has a strong supporting cast on his ...


CHARLOTTE, NC (May 17, 2007) --Usually M&M'S® driver David Gilliland has a strong supporting cast on his #38 Ford with the iconic M&M'S® Characters, Red and Yellow. This weekend the list grows as Gilliland welcomes Shrek, Donkey and Puss in Boots from the upcoming DreamWorks release "Shrek the Third" which opens in theaters on May 18.

In support of the highly anticipated movie release, Masterfoods USA has introduced "Ogre-Sized" Peanut Butter M&M'S®. For a limited time only, fans can get swamped with peanut butter in a colorful mix of candies inspired by the green guy himself. Gilliland hopes instead to get swamped in a battle for the win in the NEXTEL Open in hopes of transferring to Saturday night's main event, the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.

Quoting M&M'S Driver David Gilliland:

On the importance of qualifying for the NEXTEL Open-- "It's very important every weekend to qualify and start near the front but I think for two 20-lap segments it makes it that much more important this weekend. Forty laps is not a lot of time to work to the front of field so to start in the front would be the perfect scenario for our team. I feel good about our chances on Friday in qualifying.

When we came out to test at Charlotte a couple of weeks ago, we worked only on race runs and didn't make a single qualifying run. Ricky (Rudd, Gilliland's RYR Teammate) did make a qualifying run and he ended up second quick in the session so that's gives us a little confidence this weekend. I'm sure with Todd (Parrott, crew chief for the M&M'S Ford), we'll work on qualifying for a little while this Friday and that he's already working on his pit strategy for the Open if we're fortunate enough to be running in the top-five when the caution flag drops after the first 20 laps."

On his thoughts on the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge-- "This is one race that I've always wanted to compete in. From watching it on TV as a driver, it has always looked like so much fun. No one holds back at all and just puts it all out on the line for a shot at a $1 million. It's so different from what we do each weekend, in terms of the format of the race, that I think it makes very appealing to the drivers especially someone new to circuit such as me.

This car that we are running this weekend is not the same car that we plan on bringing for the 600 but I was very happy with the way it drove in testing. It's the same chassis we ran in Homestead last year but everything else on it brand new so I'd love to win the Open and get a shot at running in the All-Star race with this car to see where we stack up against everyone before next week."


* Find Your Inner M -- M&M'S Driver David Gilliland is the latest famous face to find his Inner M. As part of their newest campaign, visitors can log on at and create their very own Inner M character and explore the fun world of Planet M&M'S. At the heart of is the Character Creator, which leverages cutting edge technology to deliver an exciting user experience that will capture the imagination of M&M'S® fans everywhere. The Character Creator provides access to a wide variety of M&M'S® candy shapes, colors, hair, facial features and accessories creating millions of possible combinations, which ensure users that they will be able to create their own Inner M likeness.

Be sure to log on to in the coming week to view the unveiling of David Gilliland's Inner M character.

-credit: ryr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers David Gilliland