Most people like a nice smooth road when they're behind the wheel. But when it comes to Sprint Cup race tracks, sometimes bumpier is better. David Gilliland, for one, looks forward to the unique surface characteristics of Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, where the Cup Series will race its third points event of the season this weekend.
The No. 38 team will race the Long John Silver's paint scheme for the second consecutive week. Gilliland is eager to make the first intermediate-track race a solid one, after falling victim to accidents during the first two races on the schedule.
The California native has been racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway since he was a 21-year-old K&N Pro Series West driver. Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 will be Gilliland's seventh Cup career start at the 1.5-mile oval. His best finish is 14th (2009).
Fans of Gilliland and his Front Row Motorsports teammates will have the opportunity to meet them in Las Vegas on Saturday. The trio will sign autographs at the Riviera Hotel & Casino from 7 to 8 p.m. local time.
Comments from Long John Silver's team driver David Gilliland heading to Las Vegas:
"The Charlotte test should help us at Las Vegas. We learned some interesting things that they've gone back to the wind tunnel and backed up. So, we've got some good information as a team. Personally, I'm excited to drive the new car on a mile-and-a-half track. Everyone says the cars drive really well and are more fun to drive than last year's car, so I'm looking forward to it.
"Las Vegas has its own unique characteristics. I think getting into Turn 1, there are some bumps that you've got to tune your car around. It puts more in the hands of the individual teams and drivers to make it work. It's unique, it's fast and it's always a lot of fun.
"I'm not much of a gambler but the Vegas weekend will still be fun personally. My wife and family are coming and also some extended family and we're renting a house out there. The west coast races are really our home-away-from-home races with all the family and friend we still have out there, so I always look forward to this part of the season when we spend a lot of time out on that side of the country."