STATESVILLE, N.C. (September 17, 2013) – David Gilliland doesn’t mince words when you ask how he feels about New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It’s always been among his least favorite tracks on the circuit. But he credits crew chief Frank Kerr with changing his attitude about the 1.058-mile oval this season.
The driver-crew chief pair worked its way to an 18th-place finish at the July New Hampshire event — Gilliland’s career-best finish at the Loudon, N.H., oval and significantly better than his career average finish of 32nd at the venue.
The No. 38 Long John Silver’s team will take the knowledge from that event and apply it in its return to the flat track for Sunday’s Sylvania 300. The start will be Gilliland’s 250th start in his eight-year Sprint Cup Series career.
Comments from Long John Silver’s team driver David Gilliland heading to Loudon:
“New Hampshire has probably been my least favorite racetrack since I’ve gotten into the Cup series. But, on the flip side of that coin, we ran really well there earlier this year. Frank Kerr, my crew chief, he’s changing my attitude on a lot of these tracks, thankfully. We’ve got a good package to run there and we were just there not too long ago. We’re actually building a brand new car, too, for Loudon. So we’re going to take what we learned and put it into this new car, which is a little lighter and sleeker, and put it to work and have a great race.
“It’s very narrow, very flat and it’s very hard to pass on. At a lot of tracks we go to, you’re on the edge all day and that’ll wear you out. But at Loudon, you’re over the edge all day. It’s just a difficult racetrack. It’s probably one of the most line-sensitive racetracks we go to and one of the most challenging tracks for sure.
“The track doesn’t really seem to change too much. You’ve got seams that make the place where you’ve got to run very narrow. It’s about a car width and a quarter between the seams. And if you get your tires outside of that, you’re done. So you’re aiming for this lane that’s not much wider than the car and that makes it challenging.”