Pocono II: Gilliland, Barraclough - Saturday Ford interview

David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 freecreditreport.com Ford Fusion, will start third in tomorrow's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500. The starting spot is his best of the season and even if rain cancels practice on Saturday, Gilliland and crew...

David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 freecreditreport.com Ford Fusion, will start third in tomorrow's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500. The starting spot is his best of the season and even if rain cancels practice on Saturday, Gilliland and crew chief Cully Barraclough feel the team will still race well on Sunday.

DAVID GILLILAND -- No. 38 freecreditreport.com Ford Fusion

WOULD NO PRACTICE TODAY BE A MAJOR PROBLEM CONSIDERING YOU GUYS JUST RACED HERE A FEW WEEKS AGO? "Obviously, we have those notes to go back on and we also unloaded in race trim yesterday and were fairly happy with our car. We would have definitely liked to have gotten some laps in, I think everybody here would have, but I don't think we're really too concerned about it. Our freecreditreport.com Ford was pretty fast."

I WOULD IMAGINE THE KEY TOMORROW IS JUST TRYING TO KEEP THAT TRACK POSITION YOU HAVE TO START WITH. "Definitely. Doug Yates and Max and myself, we say it every week -- it's two races. You have a race on Friday that sets you up for the race on Sunday. Starting up there, track position is very, very important. At Pocono, track position is every bit as important if not more important than anywhere we race on, so starting up there and having good pit stops all day will be key. We've got a great pit selection thanks to our qualifying effort, so those are all things that help put yourself in a better position to be there and get a good finish on Sunday." DO

YOU FEEL THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE THAT NEXT STEP YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT YESTERDAY AND WIN TOMORROW? "Yeah, I still think our focus is a good, solid finish. When we can do that on a weekly basis, then the wins will come. You get out there and it's real easy to lose focus of the big picture and go out and let your guard down and kind of shift gears and focus a little too much on winning and then make a mistake. Our biggest thing right now is points, obviously. We're in a sponsorship search right now, so a good, solid day is what we need. A win would definitely help it, but a top-five would definitely help our effort as well."

BUT IF YOU GET TO THAT LAST PIT STOP AND HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN DOES THAT CHANGE? "Now it's about winning, absolutely. But until you get to that last pit window, really, you just have to do everything you can to put yourself in position to come in and hopefully have a good pit stop the last stop and come out in position to be able to go ahead and put the gloves on and go for it."

CAN YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF BEING OUTSIDE OF CHASE CONTENTION AND MAYBE BE MORE AGGRESSIVE IF YOU'RE BATTLING FOR THE WIN AGAINST A GUY MAYBE ON THE FRINGE OF THE CHASE? "Yeah, absolutely. With where those guys are in the points right now, they definitely have to think big picture. Where we're at in points, if we're up there and can go for it, we definitely will. Hopefully, that's something we're dealing with on Sunday."

CULLY BARRACLOUGH, Crew Chief -- No. 38 freecreditreport.com Ford Fusion

IF THERE'S NO PRACTICE TODAY IS IT THAT BIG OF A DEAL CONSIDERING YOU RACED HERE SIX WEEKS AGO? "There's always a menu of stuff that we would like to try to improve our car, like everyone else, and a lot of these teams have a lot more experience here than us, but with the COT car everybody is trying to build a new catalog of tools in their chest to improve their car for certain things. The one thing we have going for us, even though we made just a short race run off the truck, that helps out -- knowing that you rolled off the truck and it was decent. We just need a little bit here and a little bit there to make the car what we think will be drivable on the long run, so that makes you feel a little bit better when it rains."

CAN YOU NOTICE THE IMPROVEMENT AT THIS TRACK FROM THE FIRST RACE TO THE SECOND? "A lot of what we're gonna see in the second half is just David. A lot of people forget about how little he's been to all of these tracks because he came into the series and jumped right out and sat on the pole at Daytona. Some may have unfairly judged him at a higher experience level than they should throw at him, but he does have the talent and he will make it. He's gonna be very good, but there needs to be patience on all of our parts. We're building a new team, a young team and a young driver and as we go through these tracks here, you're gonna see David shining through because he's gonna find out what he needs and how he can overcome the shortcomings of the car."

YOU MUST FEEL THE LONGER YOU GUYS WORK TOGETHER THE BETTER YOU'LL GET. "Yeah. We've had some learning experiences. Qualifying is something we know we have to work on and to find out what you've got to do with this COT car for qualifying trim. It's a different aero-balance and a whole new cat for us. With the testing schedule that we had over this year, we haven't been able to go out there and run miles and laps to find out what we need because there's that one aspect where the driver's got to have what he needs. We're starting to learn what that is more and more. As we speak, our engineer and our driver are hammering out on some notes right now, so the work never stops."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers David Gilliland