Talladega Special To Gilliland

Talladega Superspeedway has been kind to Yates Racing over the years and David Gilliland is looking to continue that success in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AMP Energy 500.

The powerful Yates engines have sent many drivers to pole position and to victory lane at the 2.66-mile track including Gilliland.

In four career starts at the restrictor-plate track, Gilliland has a pole (his first at the Cup level), outside pole and three top-15 finishes, including a fourth-place showing in 2007.

Davey Allison, Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler are the other Yates drivers to have won a pole at Talladega.

Gilliland can't help but think of his pole run whenever Talladega rolls around on the schedule.

“Yeah, absolutely," he said. "That was our first pole. It’s an awesome place to race. I grew up watching a lot of races there on TV, and I remember going there for the first time and have our pole there. Going there with Yates power and Yates cars always gives you an extra boost of confidence, and we’re really looking forward to going there.”

Yates and restrictor plate racing at both Talladega and Daytona have been a perfect marriage for a number of years.

“I think that the restrictor-plate tracks at Daytona and Talladega always had a special place in Doug and Robert’s heart, and they they’ve worked very, very hard and dedicated a lot of time and effort into their restrictor-plate program, and I think it shows when they go and run well at those tracks," Gilliland said.

"It’s something that Yates is very proud of, and, like I say, we’re looking forward to going back there. I’m really excited about this year, too, that we’ve been able to perform well at all of the other different tracks, too – road courses, short tracks and intermediate tracks. So, I feel like our program is much more well-rounded than it has been in the past. But, I’m really excited about going back to Talladega.”

After Kyle Busch's win at Talladega back in the spring, Sunday's race might have a different look about it since it's part of the Chase.

“I think Talladega is just one of those places where, obviously, you have to have patience," Gilliland said. "It’s a long race and there’s just so much stuff that can happen before it really matters, before you can get to the end, so patience is always a key, which it is each and every week."

"But, definitely, with the Chase drivers, it changes things a little bit, but each of us still need to go out and try to win races and perform our best each week.”

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