The annual Coca-Cola 600 is one of David Gilliland's favorite races. It's also among the most challenging.
The driver of the No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford says adjustability is the key to making it through Sunday night's 600-mile event at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway - being ready to adapt the car to the changing conditions over the course of the night. Gilliland also points to the importance of not losing focus and making mistakes during the extra 100 miles of the marathon race.
Gilliland has 13 career starts at the 1.5-mile oval. His best finish came last fall when he finished 23rd at the October Sprint Cup event.
Comments from Long John Silver's team driver David Gilliland about heading to Charlotte:
"It's a long race. You get about 400 miles into it and you start to think, 'Man, it's got to be getting close to the end.' It's a long race and definitely a very challenging race as well. The track changes a lot over 600 miles, so it can be challenging to build adjustability into your car throughout the race, and staying focused and not making a mistake for that extra 100 miles longer than we usually run. It's a lot of hours to try to get everything perfect, but that's what we do.
"It's a great race. I love Charlotte Motor Speedway. It's one of my favorite racetracks. And, of course, it's another 'home game' for us, which makes everybody happy because we get to be home for two weeks. It's a holiday weekend, people have Monday off, so it's really a fun party atmosphere at the track for all the fans. And they do a great job of filling the stands in Charlotte. People tend to come from all over because they can see so many other things while they're here, like visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, check out the race shops. It's always a fun weekend, so I'm really looking forward to that race."