David Gilliland has never raced in NASCAR's Sprint All-Star Race, but he feels like his chances of earning a spot in that line-up this weekend are better than ever. The driver of the No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford feels more confident about his team's capabilities than ever before as they prepare for Saturday night's Sprint Showdown, the precursor to the All-Star event.
The qualifying race comprises two 20-lap segments with an optional pit stop. The top two finishers will transfer to the All-Star race immediately following the Showdown. The winner of a fan vote will also transfer.
Gilliland has two top-10 finishes in six Showdown starts.
Comments from Long John Silver's team driver David Gilliland about the Showdown:
"There's definitely less pressure involved when you're racing in the Showdown. If something happens, there are no points on the line. So, that's a good feeling going in there, knowing that we can go try stuff that maybe we can't try on a normal weekend. Frank Kerr, my crew chief, has a lot of great ideas, and I think it's shown in our performance throughout the year even if we haven't gotten the finishes we've wanted. This All-Star weekend is a great opportunity for us to try some new stuff under less pressure.
"It'd be super special to race our way into the All-Star line-up. I've watched that race many times on TV but haven't yet been able to race in it. We've been close, definitely close to transferring in a couple of times. We've had fast race cars. We just have to finish off the deal. And I have more confidence this year going in than I've ever had."