Gilliland Warmed Up for the Long Run
David Gilliland and the No. 34 Taco Bell Ford team had a good run in the sprint. Now it's time for the marathon.
The team is using its notes from last weekend's 40-lap Sprint Showdown to prepare for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 - the longest race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. Gilliland finished the Showdown seventh in a fast Taco Bell Ford, and will bring the same chassis back to Charlotte Motor Speedway for this weekend's 600-mile event.
Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 will be Gilliland's 10th start at the 1.5-mile oval in Concord, N.C. His best finish is 25th.
"The two biggest things about the 600 that make it challenging are the fact that it starts in the day and ends in the night, and just that it's so long. Six-hundred miles is our longest race. It's usually hot around this time of year and it's just a very physically demanding race - and mentally demanding, just because it's so long.
"We learned a lot in the Showdown last week that's really going to help us in the 600. We had a fast car, but it was a little too tight and that kept us from pushing ahead any farther, and we ended up seventh, which wasn't bad. But we've got a lot of good stuff in our notebook to carry over, and my teammate Travis (Kvapil) and his team tried some other things, too, so I think we're in good shape as an organization. We've got a good place to start when we roll off the truck and I think we can have a good run.
"The biggest thing is building adjustability into the car, because when it goes from day to night the track temperature changes. It's the race where the track goes through the most significant temperature change of any race we race. So, it always presents a challenge to adjust as you go over the course of the 600 miles. You might want to have some spring rubbers ready, or even start with them, and you'll be better off.
"We had some issues with tires in our mile-and-a-half program previously this year, but I feel like we're past that. So, where before we had a fast car with some bad luck with tires, now we can just run our race with a fast car. I'm looking forward to what we can do now at some of these mile-and-a-half tracks."
Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports PR