GILLILAND CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY OF HIS CUP SERIES DEBUT AT SONOMA CONCORD, NC (June 18, 2008) --- In the world of NASCAR, careers can change overnight and Yates Racing's David Gilliland knows first hand how quickly things happen in this...
GILLILAND CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY OF HIS CUP SERIES DEBUT AT SONOMA
CONCORD, NC (June 18, 2008) --- In the world of NASCAR, careers can change overnight and Yates Racing's David Gilliland knows first hand how quickly things happen in this sport. Gilliland, who pilots the No. 38 FreeCreditReport.com Ford, travels to Sonoma, California this weekend for his third Cup Series start at Infineon Raceway on Sunday. The race this weekend will mark the anniversary of Gilliland's first career Cup Series start which occurred in 2006 at the very same race track.
Gilliland is a native of California and grew up racing in the West Coast's racing circuit. His father, Butch, was a driver in NASCAR and Gilliland had racing in his blood from the very beginning. Gilliland spent his youth working on race cars and learning the mechanical skills that went into developing cars. He proved his mechanical prowess early on and became the crew chief for his father's team in 1998. That same year, Gilliland jumped into the driver's seat for the first time in his career and began the development for the racing career he has today.
On June 17, 2006, Gilliland's life as he knew it changed forever as the rookie in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and his unsponsored race car won under the lights of Kentucky Speedway. He became the first Nationwide Series regular to post a win that year as he beat out Sprint Cup Series drivers for his memorable win.
On the heels of his victory at Kentucky, Gilliland made his first Sprint Cup Series start at Infineon Raceway on June 25, 2006.
"My Cup series debut at Sonoma in 2006 was already arranged prior to my win at Kentucky in the Nationwide Series so it was rather ironic that I won at Kentucky the week before," recalls Gilliland. "A driver's first Cup Series start is something that you never forget and the fact that my first start was at Sonoma, a track where my family has such a history of great racing, was the icing on the cake. I definitely go to Sonoma every year and think about the fact that it's a track that will always hold a special place in my heart. In our series everything happens so fast that when I go to Sonoma I always take a moment to take into account all that has happened in my career since my early days of racing there."
Gilliland's Cup Series debut was with car owner Bryan Mullet, and by August of that same year, Gilliland had signed a driver contract with Robert Yates Racing where he made his debut in the legendary No. 38 Ford at Michigan International Speedway on August 20th.
"After I won the race at Kentucky, there was just a whirlwind of media attention and offers but I chose to accept an offer from Yates at the time," commented Gilliland. "I still remember Doug (Yates) calling me about my racing career and our conversation was just so different from speaking with everyone else. I knew he was the one I wanted to drive for."
Now in his second full-time season in the Cup Series as the driver of the No. 38 Ford with the newly formed Yates Racing, Gilliland enters this weekend's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in search of his best career finish.
Gilliland is currently 23rd in the driver point standings for the Sprint Cup series as he enters this weekend's race at Infineon Raceway. The Cup series race at Sonoma will be broadcast on TNT Sunday, June 22nd with television coverage beginning at 3:30 pm EST and radio coverage provided by PRN.