NASCAR » 5 August 2009
Lally readies for Cup debut with TRG.
TRG Motorsports heads to Watkins Glen International Raceway for this weekend's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips NASCAR Sprint Cup round with both a new driver and new sponsor on board.
Series new comer Andy Lally will be driving the #71 Chevrolet Impala SS alongside TRG's regular entry for David Gilliland as the team expands to a multi-car operation for the first time, and also welcomes on board a new backer for the latter's #70 car this weekend.
Sportscar ace - and street luge fan - Lally has a lot of history at Watkins Glen, a venue he bills as his favourite having won six professional races there over the years, including last year's KONI Challenge round at the wheel of a Porsche. Although making his Sprint Cup debut this weekend, he has some previous stock car experience at the circuit too, and plans to pool all his knowledge to produce a solid run.
"I have a lot of laps around the Glen," Lally confirmed, "I think the line will be very similar from the Porsche to the Chevy, but I will also apply some of my own secrets that I have learned there over the years that will also be helpful in the Sprint Cup car. I am going to take what I learned from the Nationwide race that I ran in 2007 to see what works. I can't wait to get on track with the #71 and see what we have against some of the best drivers in the world."
"I have been able to run additional laps in the Sprint Cup car at VIR and New Jersey Motorsports Park since the test before Infineon, and the team has been great. Kevin Buckler and all of the TRG Motorsports partners have really put their faith in me here and I really want to thank them. This is an awesome opportunity for me."
Lally will also be running in his usual Grand-Am Rolex Series role on Friday evening, but only sees that as an added bonus.
"The good thing about the schedule this weekend is that there is not too much overlap," he reasoned, "I have a full day in the Rolex Series car on Thursday, and the most important part of the process is to get the car into the show and race on Sunday.
"After [NASCAR] qualifying, I will hop straight into the Porsche for the Rolex race and get to it. There won't be any problem going back to the Rolex car on Friday. It is also good that we have another practice in the Sprint Cup car on Saturday morning to get me re-acclimated and tuned-in for the race on Sunday."
Gilliland, meanwhile, is ready to debut TRG's new TaxSlayer.com colours on the #70 Chevrolet, as he returns to the track where he had one of his worst racing accidents.
"I like Watkins Glen, as the track is lots of fun to drive," Gilliland insisted, "It is really fast for a road course, but I really enjoy road racing and look forward to racing at The Glen every year. Last year, I had a pretty bad accident, probably the worst of my career, but we are ready to go. We have some good cars, and I have a great team-mate in Andy Lally. This is his home track and he has a great record there, so I am looking forward to leaning on him for information. He should be a big help to us this weekend."
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