RIVERSIDE, California -- Eager to get behind the wheel of his No .88 RaceCarCeilingFans.com Chevrolet, top-ranked driving ace David Gilliland has high hopes for Round One of the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series, Sunday, January 30 at Phoenix International Raceway.
"I'm definitely looking forward to this event," says the popular California native. "We tested at Phoenix a few weeks ago and our Chevy was really, really good. With a little luck, I think we can score a Podium finish."
Extremely familiar with the "jewel of the desert" track, Gilliland placed 11th at last year's season opener and 5th at the fall event. He scored a win in the Southwest Tour and wants nothing more than to add a victory in this season's West Series. "Because each end of the track is completely different, this is actually the most challenging track in the Series," explains Gilliland. "I don't think it is possible to prepare a perfect car. You have to compromise on setup and try to strike the best balance. From our test, I think we've manage to do just that and I feel confident that we can do the job."
Running his first full year of West competition last season, Gilliland earned Rookie of the Year honors and finished third overall. Along the way he took home one win (Mesa Marin in Bakersfield, Calif.) seven top 5's and nine top 10's. In addition, he ran in 10 Southwest Tour events, scoring two wins (Bakersfield and Sonoma) and five top 5's and 5 top 10's.
"It was a good first season," says Gilliland. "Now we are geared up for an even better one. The whole team is definitely excited and really motivated. We want this year's title and that is our main focus. In addition, we are going to run selected Southwest races, ones that don't run with the West Series. When the West runs, I want to be able to totally concentrate on winning and that's tough when you are running two different Series on the same weekend."
Extremely dedicated, very professional and highly talented behind the wheel there is no doubt that David Gilliland is one of NASCAR's rising young stars. "I've got a great Chevy, a terrific sponsor, a top notch crew and a super team owner," says Gilliland. "Now the rest is up to me. And no matter what the outcome this weekend, the one thing that's fir sure is that I will be giving it my all when the Green Flag drops on January 30."