SWS: Tucson: David Gilliland preview

CHINO, Calif. (September 18, 2003) -- Coming off of two back-to-back victories in the NASCAR Elite Division, Featherlite Southwest Series, David Gilliland, driver of the ...

CHINO, Calif. (September 18, 2003) -- Coming off of two back-to-back victories in the NASCAR Elite Division, Featherlite Southwest Series, David Gilliland, driver of the #11 Centrifugal Tech/Condenser & Chiller/Luke's Chevrolet, is geared up and ready to head to Tucson Raceway Park for the "John Baker" 150.

Being the series lap leader, with over twice as many laps lead as any other driver in the NFSWS, it is apparent that Gilliland recognizes what it takes to get the proper set-up for a car capable of slicing through a field and remaining up front.

He is also one of a few drivers that recently took advantage of an open test session at the 3/8-mile short track, Gilliland, is hoping the extra track time will give him a jumpstart on the competition.

"We were able to get a [test] session in recently and were pleased with the results we got out of it," said Gilliland. "I am really excited for this event, we have a unique opportunity this year to just go out and work on a winning setup and not really have the distractions of a points chase."

Despite the fact that the team had a slow start early in the season, they have worked their way into the top-4 position in the points chase. Over the last four races Gilliland has won 3 races and accumulated more points than any other driver. While mathematically still in the hunt for the championship, Gilliland remains more of a realist.

"We were not very proud of the start of this season. We had a few decent runs, but they were overshadowed by a few mistakes that have probably cost us a decent shot at the title for 2003," admitted Gilliland. "But you can't look back at what could have been, you always have to look ahead at what might be. What this team has become in the latter half of the year is something short of incredible."

"There isn't any particular key to our recent string of successes. A few mechanical problems earlier this year that kept me from contention on winning a few races that we should have won," stated Gilliland. "My wife, Michelle, deserves a big thanks, she has been extremely supportive this season, allowing me to work on the car into the early morning hours getting everything dialed in for the next event."

Gilliland was thankful to Tucson Raceway Park and its staff for naming this event in honor of late fellow competitor, John Baker.

"Our intent at every race is to win. The event at Tucson will be a special honor for whichever driver takes the victory, for they will be given the chance to publicly acknowledge how deeply John Baker is missed. I certainly would like that opportunity, I don't think I have gone to a race since we lost him that he has not crossed my mind."

With limited time left to complete the car, Gilliland is leaving nothing up to chance, except what to do if by chance he wins thee-in-a-row. The team is banking on his determination and skill to shine through at the event to produce the best possible result. The same key factors that have made him the most triumphant driver on the NFSWS circuit this year.


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Drivers David Gilliland , John Baker