Chino Hills (Calif.), November 07, 2000 -- There has been a Gilliland racing in the NASCAR Winston West Series every year since 1987 and that tradition will continue as the final race of the season for the Series, The Home Depot 300, gets ...
Chino Hills (Calif.), November 07, 2000 -- There has been a Gilliland racing in the NASCAR Winston West Series every year since 1987 and that tradition will continue as the final race of the season for the Series, The Home Depot 300, gets underway this Saturday at Irwindale Speedway in Los Angeles (Calif).
With the 2000 season winding down and the new millennium approaching it appeared that the "Gilliland streak" would be broken. But it was announced today that David Gilliland would be driving for veteran driver and car owner Kenny Smith in the No. 43 Quick Pick Motorsports Monte Carlo. "David is an upcoming star and well worth giving a chance to run," said Smith.
Smith who qualified sixth at the last Irwindale Winston West event said, "We were able to get out there and get some practice time with David in the car this past week. He was running 18.41 without really working on the car. We were real pleased. The car is brightly painted red and yellow, it should show well for the TV. We have Jan's Towing on board and are always looking for more sponsors. We are all looking forward to Saturday."
For Gilliland, life has been good this year. He has dominated the dirt track at Perris Auto Speedway (Calif.) with five victories this season including last Saturday's win and an establishment of a new track record at the track with a time of 20.63 in the Luke's Transmission Chevrolet. When not racing PAS Gilliland has been at Irwindale Speedway where he has scored nine top-tens in the ten NASCAR Super Late Model races he has competed in, including two wins.
"I am really fortunate that Kenny gave me the chance to drive his car," Gilliland said. "Our team worked hard all year on both our dirt and asphalt cars. Jerry Dodd gave us an awesome car for PAS, plus we have done better than we expected at Irwindale. I have only had a few starts in the NASCAR Winston West Series. You know you are competing with guys that you can learn a lot from when you run the Winston West. That is what we want to do, learn from the best of them and bring home a good finish for the Quick Pick Motorsports Team."
"My father (Butch Gilliland) still holds the track record at Irwindale and there is always a lot of pressure from people to beat his record, but my dad doesn't put any pressure on me. He has always let me do my racing on my own and I respect him for that. I know that when I win a race I did it on my own. He gives me the room to learn, but he is also there when I need him. With this race being 300 laps and a Winston West race, we are definitely hoping to use some of his advice but still we are going to try and do what we can our way."
Running the race his way has certainly worked for Gilliland this season. Said his father (Butch), "I knew David had a lot of talent, but I did not know he would be this good this fast."
And what are his plans for next season? "Right now I am concentrating my race program with the intention of running for the Irwindale Speedway NASCAR Super Late Model Championship in 2001. But, I would love to have the opportunity to run some more Winston West races."
Gilliland has not limited his choices, "We are really open to anything. The Southwest Touring Series is more competitive all the time and we are looking for a way to race the ASA in March. It is an exciting time for us."
Saturday's Home Depot 300 will be broadcast on the Speedvision cable network. It will air on a tape-delay basis at 6 p.m. PT on December 2 with a rebroadcast scheduled for December 3rd at 9 p.m.