STATESVILLE, North Carolina — Richmond (Va.) International Raceway won't carry the speeds of Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, but David Gilliland hopes to stay full throttle at this week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event after his second top-10 finish of the season. Gilliland's ninth-place run at Talladega on April 17 gives the driver of the No. 34 Ford more top-10s in 2011 than some of the series' 2010 "Chase" contenders. The finishes are also the first two top-10 results for Front Row Motorsports.
" I'm looking forward to going there (Richmond) and trying some new things set-up-wise and hopefully have another good week."— David Gilliland
Gilliland looks to carry that momentum to Richmond with a familiar paint scheme on his car. Gander Mountain returns for its second race of the season on the No. 34 Fusion. The outdoor retailer partnered with the team earlier this month for the race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Saturday night's Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 will be Gilliland's 10th career start at the .75-mile oval. To score his third top-10 of the season, he'll need to top his best Richmond career finish of 18th.
Comments from Gander Mountain team driver David Gilliland on Richmond:
"I think, as a team, and as an organization we've gained so much ground from last season to today. It's obvious that our plate program is one of the best of anyone right now. We have a great car that has two great finishes and we'll use it again at Daytona and Talladega later this season. We have a ton of confidence with that package. That's good news for us there.
"Business and commercial side, we're excited to have Gander Mountain on the car again. This has been another great thing for our team and is really helping us grow. I go to the Gander Mountain store in Mooresville quite a bit. I've been into fishing and camping and that sort of thing for a while now, and now I'll be going there even more because of the new property we're moving to. We're going to have a lot of land, so we'll be outdoors all the time. It's a great fit for me and it's helping us attract more fans.
"It's almost too bad that we had a week off after Talladega because it would have been good to keep that momentum going. Actually Richmond is really going to be a total about-face from Talladega. Obviously, it's a short track, so it's going to be a totally different set-up, completely different car and a different style of racing. Richmond is a track that is fun, but it's one that we want to improve on too. The plate tracks and short tracks are where we can really showcase our improvement.
"Derrick Finley, our competition director, has run really well there in the past. So I think we're going to go with his idea of set-up stuff there, which is completely opposite of what we've run there in the past. But that's fine because we didn't run as good as we'd liked. I'm looking forward to going there and trying some new things set-up-wise and hopefully have another good week.
"This team needs another good run. We've had some things go wrong at some races earlier this season, so we need to make sure that's all behind us and string together some strong runs at tracks where we can excel. Richmond, with all the fans and the lights and everything, sounds like the perfect place to run up front again."
About Front Row Motorsports:
Front Row Motorsports is a Statesville, N.C.-based race team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Formed in 2005 by restaurant entrepreneur Bob Jenkins, the team has competed in NASCAR racing in each year since its inception, expanding full-time to the premier Sprint Cup Series in 2009. The team partners with Ford Racing and Roush-Yates Racing Engines to field the No. 34 Gander Mountain Ford driven by David Gilliland and the No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford driven by Travis Kvapil.