Gilliland Looking Forward to "Home Game" No. 84 Clay Andrews Racing driver had a very successful LMS test STATESVILLE, NC -- NASCAR Busch Series driver David Gilliland and the crew of the No. 84 Clay Andrews Racing Chevrolet will be making...
Gilliland Looking Forward to "Home Game"
No. 84 Clay Andrews Racing driver had a very successful LMS test
STATESVILLE, NC -- NASCAR Busch Series driver David Gilliland and the crew of the No. 84 Clay Andrews Racing Chevrolet will be making their first ever start at Lowe's Motor Speedway (LMS) this weekend for the Carquest Auto Parts 300. It will also mark the fifth race of the season for the newly-formed team. They are competing on a limited basis in 2006 in preparation for a full-time effort in 2007. The team last competed at the Richmond International Raceway earlier this month.
Gilliland, native of Riverside, California, had his best qualifying effort and his best finish of the season at the Texas Motor Speedway, a sister track to LMS, in April of this year. He started that race in the 11th position and finished 29th. The team also participated in the open test at LMS earlier this month. Gilliland ran very competitive times at that test. This has everyone on the team feeling confident that they will have their best run of the still young season this weekend.
With no prior experience at LMS, Gilliland has relied on Jerry Nadeau (team consultant) to help familiarize himself with the 1.5 mile oval. Nadeau is heavily involved in racing simulation. He has a state-of-the-art simulator at his home that Gilliland has used to prepare himself for this weekend. Many of the top drivers in NASCAR use racing simulation on a regular basis.
The Carquest Auto Parts 300 can be seen live on FX beginning with the pre-race show at 7:30 pm. The race can be heard on MRN affiliates as well.
You are officially a North Carolina resident now. How does it feel to be taking part in your first race weekend in Charlotte?
"If feels good, being an official resident of the Charlotte area and making Lowe's Motor Speedway my home track. It has always been a dream of mine to race at Lowe's."
You had a strong showing at the Texas Motor Speedway. Did that help you pick up on Lowe's?
"Without a doubt. Texas is obviously similar to Lowe's. We are going to take some of what we learned there and add what we learned at the Lowe's test and out car should be very competitive. Billy (Wilburn, crew chief) has a lot of experience there and he has us right where we need to be. We were very good on long runs at the test and we are excited to get back on the track."
Your home state of California finished 1-2 in the NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge. Does that give you extra motivation?
"Yeah, it definitely does. There are a lot of California drivers in NASCAR now and it definitely gives me a boost of confidence. I've always known that I could run with these guys and I'm excited to get the opportunity to do it."
This is will be your fifth race of the season. Give an assessment of your season thus far.
"We are on schedule. We have made races. We are building new cars. We have two new cars in the shop now, those will be our first new cars of the year. I'm really excited about that. We are only going to get better. Every week we are out there we are moving up and getting better."
About Clay Andrews Racing
Clay Andrews Racing is building a reputation as one of the fastest-growing teams in the Busch Series. They have acquired a 28,000 state-of-the-art race shop in Statesville, N.C., and owner, Clay Andrews, has appointed winning personnel. Veteran crew chief, Billy Wilburn, and Cully Barraclough, team consultant, will lead Gilliland in 2006. Former Nextel Cup winner Jerry Nadeau also serves as a team consultant.