Talladega: Gilliland post qualifying interview

DAVID GILLILAND ,No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion (Qualified 2nd) "It's been a great track for us. Just coming out here with Todd Parrott and Robert Yates Racing engines, they do such a great job on our restrictor plate program. We always look forward...

DAVID GILLILAND ,No. 38 M&M's Ford Fusion (Qualified 2nd)

"It's been a great track for us. Just coming out here with Todd Parrott and Robert Yates Racing engines, they do such a great job on our restrictor plate program. We always look forward to coming to these races. We came up a little bit short today on the pole, but we're real excited. We worked on more race stuff. Last year when we were here we worked a little bit more on qualifying stuff to try and really go for the pole, but we're excited and really looking forward to Sunday. We feel like we've got a great race car. It drafted very, very well and it sucked up really good, and I've got a little more experience than the first time I came, so we're real excited and looking forward to Sunday."

ARE YOU SNEAKING UP ON A TOP FIVE OR A WIN?

"Yeah, we hope so. I definitely learned a lot since the first time I did a restrictor plate race, so we're looking forward to putting that all together and putting together a good run for Sunday. We definitely feel very, very good about our chances. This is the same car that we had at Daytona and it was really, really good, so we're excited and really looking forward to Sunday."

DID YOU TRY TO IMAGINE HOW MUCH ONE-THOUSANDTH OF A SECOND IS?

"Yeah, I've thought about it a little bit today. It's nothing. It's just amazing that on a 2.66-mile track that a Ford and a Chevy can run that close, so it's pretty wild. You just kind of go back and think, 'Well, could I have done anything different?' But, really I couldn't think of anything else. It was just real close and Jeff is obviously doing a little bit better in the points."

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION ON THE RADIO WHEN THEY TOLD YOU ABOUT THE TIME?

"I was happy to go that fast, really. It's amazing to me still that you could tie on something like that -- on a track this big with the wind and everything else that just comes into play. Todd Parrott came over the radio and told me we tied, so he was a little in shock too."

IT'S ALMOST A YEAR SINCE YOUR BUSCH WIN. HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED IN THAT TIME?

"The biggest thing is it's gotten a lot, lot busier. I never imagined it could be this busy, but it's gotten busier and I've learned a lot going to all these different tracks and a lot of them for the first time, so I'm looking forward to going to a lot of them again. I'm just trying to take it all in and learn as much as I can."

THE CAR WAVERED A BIT ON THE LAP. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO TAKE BACK?

"No, I've gone over it a couple times in my mind and there was really nothing. The car was very solid. You're just kind of along for the ride and it would have been hard to do much better."

HOW DO YOU LIKE RESTRICTOR PLATE RACING?

"I like it. We seem to be very competitive on the restrictor plate tracks and, as a racer, you want to be as competitive as you can each week, so coming here we always look forward to coming and feel like we have a legitimate shot at a really good finish. I like it. The first time I came here, I just kind of fell to the back and tried to learn for 500 miles, and then we went to Daytona and I tried to race a little bit and felt very comfortable, so it's just something you have to learn I guess. The biggest thing for me is just having confidence and knowing when to pull out and when not to and who to follow and who not to."

HOW DO YOU MEASURE THE PROGRESS RYR IS MAKING?

"We haven't been as good as we'd like to. We had a great car at Texas. We struggled the first couple of intermediate tracks and then we built a new car to go to Texas and we felt really good about it. We didn't get to qualify, but we were really good in practice. We've really been struggling with the car of tomorrow stuff and we're not the only teams that are struggling. There are a couple of teams that have it figured out, but we're working hard. Doug and Robert have really stepped up and they're trying to hire some more people. It's a tough deal, but I feel like we're going in the right direction. We're doing a little more testing now and working on trying to get a complete package like some of the other teams have."

ARE YOU DISCOURAGED AT ALL TO RUN THE SAME TIME AS JEFF AND NOT WIN THE POLE?

"No, I mean, last year I was on the pole here and I didn't lead the first lap. The outside lane actually seems to go better. I've been on the pole here and Daytona and the outside lane was better both times, so, aside from not actually having the pole, I think the outside of the front row is the best place to be."

WHAT DO YOU THINK WE'LL SEE IN THE CUP RACE?

"I think you're gonna see a lot of three-wide racing and probably a little bit of four-wide racing. It's just so smooth and you feel like you have so much control over the car, so I think it's gonna be a lot of real close racing."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robert Yates