Gilliland: Top 35 slot aids focus

David Gilliland says he is looking forward to the fact that the #71 Capital Windows Chevrolet will be locked into the sixth round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup this weekend, allowing the team to focus its attention fully on the Martinsville race.

The TRG Motorsports driver battled to 36th place in Bristol on a troubled race day, but the result was enough to put Kevin Buckler's outfit into 35th in the owners standings and secure a starting slot for the Goody's Fast Relief 500.

Going to the venue known as the 'paperclip' thanks to its layout, Gilliland admits that the team will be able to take a different approach to proceedings, safe in the knowledge that a place on the grid is already in the bag.

"We are going to Martinsville and we are racing," he said. "The last four events we have gone to the races - wanting to race. And we did race, but we had to work in practice on running all qualifying laps because we had to make the event.

"We will be able to go to Martinsville and unload the car in race trim and run. Slugger and the guys will be able to work on it and get it a little closer to what we need in the race. It will definitely help us in our situation to be better on Sunday. I am excited to be able to work on the race setup when we unload.

"Last weekend we had a lot of things not go our way. We have put that behind us and are continuing our quest to keep moving up the points ladder. We know as a team we can do it and Kevin and the investors have given us the equipment to do it."

Having expressed his pleasure at being in the top 35, Buckler admitted that there was work still to be done to secure the budget needed to keep the programme going.

"We ran a white hood at Bristol and are still doggedly searching for sponsor partners on the car," he said. "The team is doing the job on track and we will be the perfect dance partner for the right sponsor. We are lean and mean and know how to deliver a ROI to a corporation. Our team behind the scenes is ready to pounce!

“Being 35th in owner points is like having the last seat in the last life boats on the Titanic. You breathe a sigh of relief, but you are still out in the freezing ocean waiting for a lifeline. We will be able to focus a little more on the race setup of the car instead of constantly running qualifying laps in practice. This should help us to have a better race car on Sunday and provide the opportunity to finish higher and score maximum points."

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