David Gilliland, No. 38 Love’s Travel Stops Ford
Starting Position: 15
Finishing Position: 11
NASCAR’s All-Star weekend kicked off Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the Sprint Showdown. The 40-lap qualifying race allowed a 23-car field to race for two positions that would transfer into Saturday night’s main All-Star event.
Love’s Travel Stops driver David Gilliland started 15th for the race, which was divided into two 20-lap segments with an option to pit in between. During the first segment, Gilliland said his No. 38 Ford was not handling well on the mile-and-a-half track and asked for help to get the car more grip.
During the half-time pit stop, crew chief Frank Kerr brought his driver down pit road for four new tires with air-pressure and wedge adjustments. The changes helped, with Gilliland climbing up to 11th several laps into the second segment.
Even though he had a faster car, he didn’t have a lot of time. With only 15 laps remaining, the field strung out single file and the race stayed caution-free without further opportunity to advance. The No. 38 team crossed the finish line in 11th and gained valuable knowledge that will help them in next week’s 600-mile event at the same track.
Comments from Love’s Travel Stops team driver David Gilliland after the Sprint Showdown:
“Our car wasn’t great to start with, buy Frank made some good changes on the pit stop. Our Love’s Travel Stops Ford was definitely faster in the second segment. If the race was a little longer and there had been a chance to tweak it just a little bit more on another stop, I think we would’ve been right up there. But the guys did a great job and it’s going to help us next week.”