David Gilliland and his No. 34 Taco Bell Ford team are ready to build off their strong runs at both the Dover (Del.) International Speedway and again this past weekend in Charlotte, N.C. They are now ready to take the next step in their mile-and-a-half program in Kansas.
The team will enter Sunday's STP 400 at Kansas Speedway after having strong runs in both previous point-paying events. Gilliland had a fast car in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, running in the top 10 in the final 100 laps of the race before getting caught up in a multiple-car wreck that ended his night early. Still, the team has proven to be a top-20 contender over the past few weeks.
Gilliland will look to pick up where he left off this weekend at the 1.5-mile tri-oval in Kansas City. Sunday's race will be his fifth career start at the track. His best career finish at Kansas is 22nd.
"I'm really happy with the progress we've made, not only on the mile-and-a-half tracks, but just overall in the last few weeks. We knew we were pretty good on the superspeedways and pretty decent on the short tracks, too. But, earlier in the season, the biggest thorn in our side on the mile-and-a-halfs was right-front tire issues. But we feel like we've got that under control now and have had good results since then. We were competitive at Dover and last weekend, too.
"We had a really good car at Charlotte. Our Taco Bell Ford Fusion was handling pretty well and we were running up front. But then we got into a three-wide situation that wound up taking us out of the race. So our night didn't end the way we wanted it to, obviously, but we're pretty happy about how we did up until that point. Now hopefully some of what we learned at the 600 we can carry on to Kansas.
"What was so disappointing is that's the kind of run that I know our Front Row Motorsports team can have. Everyone's been working really hard to build our program and keep improving. And running in the top 10 in the Coke 600 is the kind of run we know we can have. Unfortunately, we had some bad luck that didn't allow us to finish the race, but we still came out of there with another boost in confidence knowing that we can run up front.
"Kansas will be a good 'next step' to tackle in our mile-and-a-half program. I haven't had the best of luck at Kansas because it's so flat and doesn't have a lot of banking, and I like having some banking to lean on. And Kansas actually feels like it has half the amount of banking they say it has. It's just a different kind of feel to drive the track. But having been to Darlington this year, I think that's going to help us out. And I feel like we made some gains at Darlington that we'll be able to take to Kansas and help our program."
Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports PR