The NASCAR Sprint Cup season is only five races old, but driver David Gilliland already sees a big difference in his team's performance from previous years. The combination of Gilliland, new crew chief Frank Kerr and the team's self-built race cars has delivered a competitive product on track in the early part of the season, with the team unloading stronger and seeing results on the speed chart sooner.
Sunday's race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway takes the No. 38 Long John Silver's team to another short track - the type of venue where Front Row Motorsports often excels. It's also a track where the lighter Gen-6 car will be able to show off its speed.
Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500 will be Gilliland's 14th Sprint Cup start at Martinsville. His best result was 19th in 2010.
Comments from Long John Silver's team driver David Gilliland heading to Martinsville:
"Our performance has been up this year from previous years. We've just been running a lot better and we've found ourselves racing with a different level of competitors than we have been in years past. So Martinsville is a track that I'm really looking forward to going to. We've had some bead issues on the right front, which a lot of other teams in the garage have had as well. And Martinsville is a place where you don't want to have that kind of issue to worry about.
"But everything else about our cars has been so much better this year. I feel really confident about our cars going to Martinsville and how they're going to drive and the speed they're going to have going in there. It's a great feeling to have.
"I like short-track racing. It's something that I grew up doing out on the West coast. It's probably where most people started, on short tracks around the country. It's a lot of fun and Martinsville is a tight place. It's a place where you need every patient bone in your body to be on your side throughout the race. It can be a wild race and there's really no place to go if you're not having a good day. There's a lot of bumping and banging.
"Martinsville is kind of its own unique place. It's flat - obviously the complete opposite of Bristol, having no banking. So, other than the size, those two tracks are completely different animals. So it'll be another new test of the Gen-6 car once you have all 43 cars on track."