Gilliland Recalls First Meeting with the Monster

STATESVILLE, N.C. (May 28, 2013) – David Gilliland learned to respect the “Monster Mile” the first time he raced there. That’s because his first visit to Dover (Del.) International Speedway resulted in a self-inflicted wreck.

As he heads to the one-mile oval for his 14th Sprint Cup Series start there, he now refers to the track as both “fun” and “awesome.” He also enters the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks race weekend with momentum, after scoring a top-20 finish in last weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Gilliland has two top-20 finishes in his 13 Cup starts at the “Monster Mile.” This weekend his No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford will carry the Autism Speaks puzzle piece decal to support awareness and fundraising for the cause.

Comments from Long John Silver’s team driver David Gilliland about heading to Dover:

“I love going to Dover. I’m really looking forward to it. We ran really well at Bristol and feel like a similar set-up will work there. It’s just a racetrack that I really enjoy going to. It’s really fast and definitely lives up to its name, the ‘Monster Mile.’

“The first time I went there, it was probably the lowest point in my career. We unloaded in qualifying trim and we were fast, maybe fifth or sixth fastest. And we decided to make one more run. I was a little too tight, so I asked them to free it up because I thought I could go way faster. And, dang, if I didn’t wreck off of Turn 2. So I learned instantly the Monster will reach out and grab you.

“It’s a track you’ve got to respect, but it’s an awesome track. Your sensation of speed there is unlike anywhere else you go. You can pass there, and it’s just a really good racetrack. It’s definitely physically demanding. It’s challenging, for sure. But that’s what makes it fun. It’s, for me, one of the most fun racetracks we go to.

“I’m really proud of our performance in the Coke 600 last week. We got a top-20 finish, the best we’ve ever finished there, in what I think was the best intermediate-track car we’ve ever had. And that’s really how we’ve been running all year. We’ve had much better cars all year. We just haven’t gotten the results every week to show for it. So it was really gratifying to have a result that showed just how good the car was and how far this team has come. It’s going to give us that much more confidence the next time we go to an intermediate track.”

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