Gilliland Drives TRG Motorsports Chevy to 29th at Texas Denton, Texas (April 5, 2009) - David Gilliland drove the Capital Window/TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS to a 29th place finish in today's running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Samsung 500...
Gilliland Drives TRG Motorsports Chevy to 29th at Texas
Denton, Texas (April 5, 2009) - David Gilliland drove the Capital Window/TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS to a 29th place finish in today's running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Starting from his 15th row qualifying position Gilliland had some slight handling issues and began to work on those through the early pit stops. On the team's second pit stop on lap 98 a tire began to roll away from the crew when the NASCAR Official stopped it and rolled it in front of the car. The tire tripped the right front tire changer costing valuable time and track position. At this same point the crew had tweaked the handling of the car and Gilliland was able to run times equal to the top five cars. The loss of track position, plus two untimely caution flags which occurred just after the team pitted under green, had the car mired back in 30th for most of the day.
"The car was really fast today," Gilliland said. "We struggled in the pits and you just can't do that at this level. I think we gave up like seven positions on our second pit stop. It is so tough on the track to get by cars, that when you lose positions in the pits it makes it that much harder. You cannot give up track position in the pits at this level, you have to work too hard on the track for the spots."
The team made a few adjustments on the first couple of pit stops which dialed the car right in for Gilliland.
"It is too bad, we had a much better car than the finish showed today. We were able to match the times of the top five cars for over 80% of the race. To finish well in this series you have to have the total package. We are new as a team and it is still coming together. We did get unlucky with a few cautions when we just pitted, but we are putting fast cars on the track and the guys are really working hard. It was an unfortunate day for TRG Motorsports, but the car is in one piece so we can bring it to the next mile-and-a-half track."
Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team principal, knows that it takes a total team effort to be successful at this level of motorsport.
"We have a really good handle on the car at these mile-and-a-half ovals," Buckler said. "We pretty much blew it in the pits today and combined with the untimely cautions that is how you finish 29th. Our car and driver were fast, had we not fumbled the ball in the pits I think we had a top 10 car. We are spending our very limited budget on the performance of the car to make sure we make the races and are competitive on race day. We will be able to easily upgrade our other areas once we have the sponsor support we need. When you have limited resources it is very tough to really fine tune the entire team and that is what you have to have to be in a position to compete on Sunday in NASCAR's premier division. The good news is we can do it!"
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take Easter weekend off and then travel to Phoenix International Raceway for a Saturday evening race on April 18.