STATESVILLE, N.C. (October 8, 2013) – David Gilliland talks regularly about the progress his team has made at mile-and-a-half tracks. The numbers back him up.
The No. 38 Long John Silver’s team is averaging a 25th-place finish at 1.5-mile tracks this season, five spots better than his 30th-place average of 2012. That five-place leap is indicative of the improvement of Front Row Motorsports this year, including the successful pairing of Gilliland with crew chief Frank Kerr in January.
The pair earned Front Row’s team history-best finish at a 1.5-mile track last month at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, finishing 17th. The No. 38 team will take a similar set-up to Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway this week for Saturday night’s Bank of America 500.
Gilliland earned his career-best Charlotte finish in May’s Coca-Cola 600, finishing 20th. Saturday’s race will be his 15th career start at NASCAR’s home track.
Comments from Long John Silver’s team driver David Gilliland leading into Charlotte:
“We’ve made so much progress on the mile-and-a-half’s this year. Frank Kerr has really brought a lot to this program, and we’ve worked really well together. Sometimes it’s just little things each week, but those little things add up. And it’s showing on the track. We’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we were last year. We’re on track racing against a different group of cars than we were last year, higher up the scoring tower.
“Charlotte is one of my favorite racetracks we go to. It’s here in our backyard, so you get to have a lot of friends and family and guys from the shop at the track. We’re pretty excited about the race itself. We ran really well at Atlanta a few weeks ago. We feel like we can take what we had there to Charlotte and knock off another top-20.
“These cars have evolved a lot this year, with attitude and everything else. I think we’ve gotten a handle on the aero platform and where the car wants to run on the track attitude-wise. And once you’ve gotten that, then you can go to the tracks and kind of hit for those marks. From the beginning of the year to now, we’ve seen every week the cars getting faster and faster as they evolve.”