The pairing of driver David Gilliland with veteran crew chief Pat Tryson is taking the No. 38 team to new places in 2012 - some experimental but most helpful. The team's efforts resulted in a season-best qualifying effort (22nd) at Kansas Speedway last weekend, a clear sign of improvement in the team's approach to intermediate tracks and the style of track that needed the most attention.
This week the Gilliland-Tryson duo heads to Richmond (Va.) International Raceway with the colors of Long John Silver's on the No. 38 Ford Fusion. They'll look to log more fast laps at the .75-mile, high-speed short track. Gilliland has 11 Sprint Cup career starts at Richmond, with a top finish of 18th (2008).
Comments from Long John Silver's driver David Gilliland heading to Richmond:
"Pat (Tryson) has been a great addition to our team. We've worked really well together, and he's brought a lot of great ideas and great experience. He's taken a bunch of drivers to Victory Lane, so he knows what it takes. Any time you put a new crew chief and driver together, it's going to take a little bit of time to get used to each other and really get in sync, but I think Pat and I are at a point where it's really starting to make a difference.
"We unloaded pretty fast at Kansas last week and ran some really good laps in practice and then went out and had a really good qualifying run. And that was at a mile-and-a-half track, the kind of place that we consider to be the most challenging for our team. So that definitely says something and points to the progress we're making as a team.
"Richmond is always a track that people look forward to. It's a fun place for a race. It takes you back to the old-school, Saturday-night racing a little bit. The fans always come out for it and show their support. It can be a tricky track, though. You've kind of got the dimensions of a short track but with some higher speeds thrown in like some of the bigger tracks. Pit road can be a little hazardous, too, so you've got to always be on top of your game and not make any mistakes.
"We'll have Long John Silver's on our car for the second time this year. Our owner, Bob Jenkins, owns a bunch of Long John Silver's and Taco Bells, and Richmond is one of the cities where he has restaurants. In fact, he has a Long John Silver's right down the street from the track. Everyone should stop there on their way to the track Friday and Saturday."