Sports car ace Andy Lally will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips race at Watkins Glen International Raceway on August 9, when he will link up with TRG Motorsports regular David Gilliland in a second car.

Lally has always called Watkins Glen his home track and the sports car veteran has an impressive road racing background having won Rolex Series championships in three different classes, GT in 2006, SGS in 2004 and SRPII in 2001. In addition, the 34-year-old anchored the GT class winning Rolex 24 Hour GT team this past February.

Lally, who currently drives the #67 TRG Porsche in the Rolex GT Series, can think of no better circuit to make his first Sprint Cup start at than The Glen.

"Not only am I extremely honoured to have a chance to qualify for my first ever Sprint Cup race, but when you add in the fact that it will be in my home state of New York, and at my favourite track makes this opportunity all that more special," Lally said.

"I can't wait to get out there and see what we have. I would like to thank Kevin Buckler and the partners at TRG Motorsports for putting their faith in me for this race."

Lally already has some miles behind the wheel of the TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS, but concedes he will need more.

"I have had a chance to test the car already as the team prepared for Infineon," he continued. "I learned a lot that day and the guys have improved the car since then. I only did about 20 laps in that session so it was a good first outing in the car. The team had a good primary car at Infineon and I think we can even improve on that for The Glen.

"We have a couple of more test dates set, so I will be able to get some more miles under my belt prior to the race. I have three weeks before the race and in that time I will be working with Slugger - Richard 'Slugger' Labbe, my crew chief - to cram in as much knowledge as possible."

Lally knows though that there is a big learning curve involved in making his first Sprint Cup start, beginning with qualifying.

"Qualifying will be the trickiest part," he stated. "TRG Motorsports is a go-or-go-home team. There will be a lot of guys coming out to try and make the race, some strong road racers and then you have the regulars who are excellent as well.

"I have done two Nationwide road races at Montreal and Watkins Glen and they were very competitive. The big difference is you get three or four shots at a good qualifying lap in the Nationwide Series. In Sprint Cup you get one, you take the green and you take the chequer - one chance. If you don't do it right you are going to the house.

"That will be a lot of pressure and a big part of the learning curve. I will put a lot of focus on that aspect by getting out of the garage during practice and getting right up to speed every time out on the track.

"Brake management will be crucial at Watkins Glen too. You are running in traffic all of the time and the brakes aren't getting a lot of air. You are really on the brakes hard going into the Bus Stop and into turn 10 as well. Finding the right setup on the car is essential. The guys at the front of the field are the best in the business. If we expect to run anywhere near the front, we have to have everything just right."

Lally has realistic expectations for his first Sprint Cup start: "In qualifying, I just want to make the race and secure a spot in the field. In the race, I think a realistic goal is a top 20 finish," he concluded.

Meanwhile Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team principal, is confident Lally will rise to the challenge.

"Andy has been an integral part of our sports car team for over four years now and has also been a good friend," Buckler said. "He is one of the best road racers there is and he knows Watkins Glen like his own backyard.

"We brought him into NASCAR in 2007 when we started our programmes, so I feel it is really cool to give him this shot in Sprint Cup. I obviously have a lot of faith in his ability and judgment. There will be a learning curve for Andy, but combine his experience and that of the team and I think we have a very strong package.

"The partners and I are all really excited about this race as we are running two cars for the first time all season."


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