STATESVILLE, MARCH 4, 2014 – David Gilliland will take a detour — on foot — on his way to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this week. The driver of the No. 38 Love’s Travel Stops Ford will be part of a group hiking more than 20 miles of trails through the Grand Canyon Tuesday and Wednesday.
Gilliland purchased about 40 pounds of gear to carry on the hike, during which he will sleep in a sleeping bag and tent on the canyon floor.
Gilliland comments on hiking the Grand Canyon:
“Even though I grew up out west, I’ve never seen the Grand Canyon and I’ve always wanted to. This way I’ll be able to see it all at once. It’s going to be hard. I’ve done three smaller hikes before but nothing like this. I’m going to have a yellow (rookie) stripe on my backpack for sure.
“We’re going down the hardest trail, too. It’s about eight and a half miles in, and then we have a 13-and-a-half-mile hike out. I’m going to be wishing that Love’s Travel Stops had a store on the bottom of the Grand Canyon.”
Gilliland comments on racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
“Vegas, to me, drives a lot like Charlotte Motor Speedway. We were able to test in December there at Charlotte and work on some new rule packages that NASCAR sent out, and I feel like the cars drove better when we were there. I felt like we were more competitive in a big group than we had been at the mile-and-a-halfs. We feel like we’re definitely headed in the right direction with that program. We’ve got an extra day of practice out there that’s really going to help us, too.
“The rules changes are definitely going to help teams like Front Row Motorsports. With these cars, that aero platform and aero balance are going to be a lot easier to achieve. I think it’s going to make the racing better and hopefully Front Row and my team can benefit from that.”
JUST THE FACTS: Gilliland has seven Sprint Cup career starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway … His top finish at Las Vegas is 14th (2009) … Love’s Travel Stops returns as the primary sponsor on the No. 38 Ford Fusion.