Gilliland: Third Corner’s the Charm

STATESVILLE, N.C. (June 4, 2013) – David Gilliland says you have to go against your instincts to master Pocono Raceway. While drivers usually concentrate on their car’s handling in the first corner they approach, the driver of the No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford says the focus needs to be on Turn 3 of the track known as the “Tricky Triangle.”

The 2.5-mile triangular track in Long Pond, Pa., has three distinct turns, making it difficult to set up a car that performs well all the way around the track. The No. 38 team will take on that challenge this weekend for Sunday’s 400-mile race, the Party in the Poconos 400.

The event will be Gilliland’s 14th Sprint Cup Series start at the track. His best finish was 16th (2008).

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

“On a normal weekend as a race car driver, you go and you work on Turn 1. That’s the first corner you get to, you work on that and you get it good there and kind of work your way around the track. But the first time I went to Pocono, I tried to do that and we struggled in the race.

“Turn 1 is so much different than 2 and 3. Two and 3 are more similar than 1, because they’re flat. The whole key to Pocono, in my opinion, is Turn 3 – getting through the turn and getting a good run at that long front straightaway and being able to carry some speed. So, Turn 3 is what I focus on and then kind of work backwards. I look at trying to get through the ‘Tunnel Turn,’ and then Turn 1 is probably the ‘sacrifice’ corner, but you still try to get it the best you can. It’s tricky, challenging and different than anything we race on. But it can be a lot of fun.

“The track still has a lot of grip since the repave last year. The bumps are coming back in Turns 1 and 2. But overall it’s still pretty good and has a lot of grip. It’s a lot different than it was.”