This morning, I had the chance to interview David Gilliland, driver of the 38 Ford Fusion for Furniture Row Racing. He debuted in 2006 at Sonoma with Ford Racing and ran well with them for several years, finishing two races in the top five and four races in the top ten. However, bad luck struck when the team shut its doors in 2008 due to lack of funding. After bouncing from team to team in 2009, he found a home in Front Row Motorsports in 2010 and has remained with the team since.
ISABELLE BEECY: How would you say your chemistry with your crew chief Frank Kerr has improved in the past few years?
DAVID GILLILAND: I think it’s improved a lot. I got to work with him a little bit before he came to our team at Front Row Motorsports and I just have a tremendous amount of respect for him and everything he’s been able to accomplish as a driver and I think him driving himself really helps us communicate . I just think he’s super smart, definitely gets the most out of our team and I appreciate having a guy like that.
IB: From the time you made your Sprint Cup debut in 2006 in Sonoma to where you are today, how much have you changed or improved as a driver?
DG: I think I’ve improved a lot as a driver and I’ve learned a lot since then. At the time, I felt like I knew a lot and was capable of running at the Cup series but it takes a lot and I’ve just learned so much. I think I’m a better driver, I’m a more patient driver, I think my interviews have gotten better, just a lot of the key points that it takes to be able to stay at this level of racing.
IB: Given the pothole situation in Dover, do you feel repairs under the red flag in extreme situations should happen?
DG: I do, I kinda do. I think it’s unfortunate something like that happened. The fact of the matter is it can happen to anybody at any time but we’ve seen other incidents where a camera cable fell down in Charlotte and damaged some cars and some stuff like that that’s kind of out of your control. I kind of felt like they should be able to repair the car.
IB: What do you think of the new aero package now that you’ve had some time to adjust and get used to it?
DG: The new aero package, I think, is good. I think the cars drive better. It’s taken a team like us at Front Row Motorsports a little bit of time to be able to adapt to the new changes and figure out exactly what we need balance-wise to get the cars driving the way we need to. But overall I think the races have been better. I think they drive better which allows us as a driver to push a little bit harder and put on a better race for the fans. I think we’ve done that and everybody on the Cup side has done that. I think the fans’ response has been good so I think we’re definitely headed in the right direction.
IB: How would you evaluate your season so far and what do you think your team’s chances of making the Chase are?
DG: The chances of making the Chase are probably slim for us . We’d have to probably get in by winning a race, which we were able to do last year with my teammate David Ragan. But as far as our consistency, with our team in the true infancy that it’s in, we’re trying to build and we want to be a team competing for the Chase each and every year but we’re just not quite there yet. That’s our ultimate goal, but our immediate goal is to just and continue to try and improve each and every week . We’re a little bit behind with where we felt like we would be based on where we were last year, but everybody’s working really hard to get our performance turned around and find those couple key pieces that we’re missing that would be able to improve our performance.