Brooklyn, M.I. (6/17/12)- – The No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford ended its day at Michigan as battered as a piece of Thick Cut Cod.
David Gilliland was involved in the first yellow flag of the day as the spinning, No. 51 machine of Kurt Busch made hard contact with the passenger side of the No. 38 car.
The team made use of two early cautions to repair as much damage as possible. Their efforts appeared to have paid off as Gilliland found himself on the lead lap, running lap times in the same neighborhood as his Front Row Motorsports teammate, David Ragan.
The team was able to stay on the lead lap throughout the first half of the race and even led one lap under caution.
As was the case for most teams on Sunday afternoon, the No. 38 team was left searching for grip on the hot, slick and newly repaved surface. At one point, Gilliland came over the radio saying, “if you get out of the groove, you better hold onto your britches. This track is sliiiiiiiiiiiccccck,” a comment that forced Pat Tryson and several other crew members to crack a slight smirk for a moment.
However, any hopes of rebounding to a top-25 finish were wiped away on lap 127. The No. 20 machine of Joey Logano made hard contact with the outside wall, leaving Gililand with nowhere to go as his Long John Silver’s Ford slammed headfirst into the door of the Home Depot Toyota. While pinned between the wall and Logano’s machine, Gilliland received a second blow, as Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 machine was also left with nowhere to go and barreled into the back of the No. 38 Ford.
Gilliland’s crew made an impressive effort to make significant repairs to the car for the second time in the race. While the team was forced to repair damage to the front, rear, and driver’s side of the car, they were able to make it back onto the racetrack only three laps down; an impressive feat, considering the substantial damage to the No. 38 car.
Once back on track, Gilliland nursed his entry to the finish, salvaging all he could, bringing the car home in the 27th position.
David Gilliland Post Race Comments:
“The day was very disappointing for our team. We felt like we had a fast car, but a hard hit within the first ten laps of the race left us behind the ‘8-ball’ all afternoon. I was pleased with our turnaround until we ended up in our second incident of the day. It’s frustrating, because we were just innocent victims in each wreck. You’ll have that in racing. I’m going to leave Michigan knowing we did all we could to put together a respectable finish. The series heads to one of my favorite tracks next weekend at Sonoma. We’ll keep our heads up and look forward to redeeming ourselves next week.”