David Gilliland would probably volunteer to drive the first construction truck into Kansas Speedway after Sunday's STP 400. The driver of the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford is eager for the speedway to add some additional banking to the 1.5-mile oval in a repaving project scheduled to begin after this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race.
In six career starts at the Kansas City, Kan., track, Gilliland's top finish is 22nd (2006 and 2008). The seven-year Sprint Cup veteran looks to improve on that record this weekend and in October when the series returns after the speedway's repaving.
The Kansas race will allow some NASCAR fans to see their name on a Sprint Cup Series car. The No. 38's decklid will carry the logos associated with the Belmont Abbey College NASCAR Kinetics Team and the names of fans who attended the team's race-viewing event last week in Concord, N.C.
Comments from Front Row Motorsports driver David Gilliland heading to Kansas:
"Kansas is another one of those mile-and-a-half tracks that we're really concentrating on as a team this year. We had a good car last week at Texas - a better car than our result showed - so I know we're making some progress. Kansas is flatter, though, and so it presents different kinds of challenges. Me, I always like tracks with some banking over the flatter tracks. I like having something to lean on. So, the flatter tracks are always a bit more of a challenge.
"I was glad to hear they were going to add some progressive banking during a repave this year. It's always interesting when they repave a track - you've just got to wait and see how it's going to change. I know the drivers who tested at Michigan (International Speedway) after they repaved recently said it's crazy fast and has lots of grip. So it'll be interesting to see the changes at Kansas, too, when we come back in the fall.
"We're taking the same car to Kansas that we ran at Fontana. It ran pretty decent for us at Fontana and we learned some things that we knew we wanted to work on. Pat Tryson, my crew chief, has won at Kansas before, so he brings a lot of ideas and experience to help us get better, too. We just need to keep making progress on these mile-and-a-half's, and I think we are. We're not looking to light the world on fire, just continue to make improvements each week.
"It's always cool to have fans' names on the car. It's like having them along for the ride. We'll have a bunch on the decklid this weekend from a program done by the local NASCAR Kinetics team at Belmont Abbey. Hopefully we'll give them a good run."