Statesville, N.C. (August 30, 2011) - This Labor Day weekend gives us a chance to celebrate our heritage, so it's the perfect weekend for the No. 34 Ford driven by David Gilliland to carry an all-American paint scheme - the brown-and-orange colors of A&W.
Of course, NASCAR is full of its own heritage and traditions, but so are the many organizations and businesses that support the industry. Gilliland and the No. 34 team will honor one by carrying the iconic brand of A&W All American Food restaurants on the car during Sunday's AdvoCare 500. A&W was the country's first drive-in restaurant, with the first store opening in Gilliland's home state of California in 1919. Today, A&W still provides the ultimate drive-in experience.
Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway will provide its own ultimate racing experience this weekend for drivers and fans. The race starts during the day but finishes under the lights, setting up an exciting race to the finish. Gilliland is looking forward to returning for his 10th start at the 1.5-mile track and is hoping to better his career-best finish of 15th.
Comments from No. 34 A&W Restaurants team driver David Gilliland heading to Atlanta:
"It's always cool to have a different paint scheme on the car. The fans always get excited about it, and it's cool for us as drivers, too. A&W is one of the restaurants in the family of restaurants where our team owner, Bob Jenkins, has a bunch of stores. And a holiday weekend is the perfect time to have this brand on board. A&W is an iconic American brand and we're proud to support the company this Labor Day weekend.
"Atlanta is one of the fastest and most fun tracks we go to. But it's also challenging because the conditions change over the course of the race. It's tough anytime a race starts during the day and ends at night. The track changes a lot throughout the race. Atlanta is probably one of the tracks that changes the most just because of the lack of grip during a long run. Once the sun sets, it will help the grip, but the first 100 miles or so are going to be tricky.
"Our team has had some good runs at Atlanta. We've finished 26th and 20th in the past two races, but we were actually battling for positions higher than that before some accidents or others things set us back at the end. Still, it's one of my favorite race tracks to race on. You slide around a lot and you have to build adjustability into the car.
"Last year, Atlanta was the first race where I was paired up with Peter Sospenzo as my crew chief. So, I guess you could say this is going to be our one-year anniversary. We've come a long way in the past year. We've had some really great finishes on superspeedways and road courses and we've learned a ton on intermediate tracks. I'm really proud of how far we've come and look forward to continuing to improve each and every week."