The Pete Store Rolls with Gilliland Into Charlotte
Gilliland and Team Still Riding Texas-Sized Momentum
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 26, 2021) – The latest winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Todd Gilliland will head to the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Friday evening riding the thrill of his win at the Circuit of the Americas this past weekend in Austin, Texas. Gilliland, who won his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, is on a roll of finishes of sixth or better in four of his last five races. The team is fifth in the championship standings.
The Pete Store, a network of Peterbilt truck dealerships and dedicated partner of Front Row Motorsports (FRM), will once again show off their colors and brand on the No. 38 Ford F-150 team this Friday evening.
With locations spanning the Eastern United States, The Pete offers sales, service, leasing, parts, and financing of quality Peterbilt trucks. A recipient of numerous awards, including Peterbilt North American Dealer of the Year (2004, 2016 and 2018), The Pete Store is a respected dealer in the transportation industry with a track record for quality support.
Gilliland spoke today on the Ford Performance Teleconference. Below is the transcript:
HOW HAVE THESE LAST COUPLE OF DAY BEEN AFTER WINNING ON SATURDAY? “They’ve been awesome. Really, just soaking it all in. Last year I made the playoffs and that was a huge high, but just being locked in this early is really cool and from here on out we can just go race. That’s what I’m most excited about. I’m gonna scratch and claw for each and every single point, but just very relieving and also very exciting.”
WHAT’S THE ATMOSPHERE LIKE AROUND FRONT ROW WITH A WIN IN THE TRUCK AND CUP SERIES ALREADY THIS YEAR? “It’s really good. I wasn’t here much past last year, but the attitude is way better in here. Just when you have success it’s that much easier to get up every day and come back in here and do it all over, especially the Cup guys. They do it 36 weeks a year and it just gets repetitive, but once you have just a little glimmer of hope here and there, even though we’re not them, hopefully we can keep them wanting to come back here and put in their best every single day.”
DOES HAVING THE WIN ALLOW YOU TO EXPERIMENT AT ALL AND YOU’RE NOT RACING AS MUCH AFTER THESE NEXT FEW WEEKS, SO HOW MUCH MORE TIME DOES THAT GIVE YOU TO WORK ON THINGS? “I think it’s huge, especially with no practice. We’re actually getting spoiler because two or three of our next few races have practice, so that might not be as big of an advantage, but hopefully once we get past this and we’re just back to racing every single week, we can experiment on some stuff -- maybe looking forward to a track that might be similar in the playoffs. I think you hear a lot of people say that, but it really is a big advantage I’m feeling right now, being able to try stuff and really not having that exaggerated amount of pressure come the cutoff line of the regular season.”
HOW WILL YOU TRY TO STAY SHARP DURING THE SUMMER LULL IN RACES FOR YOU? “I definitely think we’ll do a lot of iRacing and sim work, but we haven’t really talked about too much other racing outside of the truck series. I know just at DGR, David Gilliland Racing, there’s always racing going on, so I’m sure I’ll probably go hang out with them some weekends, but as of right now we haven’t talked about me driving anything else. Obviously, two of the Cup cars here, I’m sure I’ll just continue to watch and try and learn from those guys as much as I can.”
CAN YOU GIVE A SENSE OF WHAT IT’S LIKE TO DEAL WITH BEING A YOUNG DRIVER AND DEALING WITH THE UPS AND DOWNS OF BEING IN THIS SPORT? “That’s a huge thing and obviously I think every up-and-coming driver goes through it. I’ve definitely been through it. It seems like you win a few races and you’re on top of the world and then two or three so-so months go by and you’re just not being talked about and it’s the next guy up. I think just looking back, and even nowadays, there are so many super young guys that are being put out there as the next big thing, but even when I was younger you’re still so unproven. There’s still so much racing to go in your career. I feel like I’ve matured leaps and bounds since I came into the truck series. People were saying great things about me when I came in, but I feel like I’m 10 times better than I was back then, so I think it’s all situational. I think you’ve just got to really take the best of every opportunity, but it definitely is hard going through it. Like I said, one day you’re on top of the world and the next you’re kind of just pushed to the side, but it’s definitely all good attention and I think you just can’t let yourself get too high and too low.”
HOW DID YOU LEARN THROUGH THAT PROCESS? “I think you just have to have good people around you. For me, it’s always been my dad. He’s always been keeping me steady through most of it because I’m sure he’s been there and done that already, so I think that’s the biggest thing -- just staying focused through it all. There are so many little things that people don’t pay attention to throughout a race weekend. Sometimes where it goes good and sometimes where it takes a turn for the worse, so you just have to take the best things out of it and as a driver there’s only so many things you can control throughout the whole race weekend, so you just have to look at those things more importantly and kind of eliminate the things that you can’t control. If they go bad, you obviously try and fix them, but just work on yourself the most you can. It’s definitely a team sport, so you’ve all got to work together.”
DO YOU FEEL THIS COULD OPEN THE FLOODGATES FOR MORE TRIPS TO VICTORY LANE? “Yeah, I definitely could see that happening. I think even over the last month or so, the last month-and-a-half, two months we have made our trucks a lot faster. We’ve been more in contention every week. Kansas, we were second going into turn one on a restart, got blocked, but we had a pretty good shot there at at top three. Darlington, we ran up front and won a stage at a mile-and-a-half that was not good to us last year, and then obviously going to the road course and having a really good weekend. I don’t think this was a fluke by any means, and I think that’s the biggest thing I’m trying to talk to my team about is just stay focused. We need to keep making the little steps. There’s still a ways to go on the mile-and-a-halves and the short tracks, but I think we can get there and just any momentum is always a good thing. We just have to keep them motivated and for a lot of my guys this was the first win for them, so given that little taste of victory I hope it makes them that much more motivated to do more.”
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO BE EVEN STRONGER IN THE PLAYOFFS? “I think that’s also something I’ve learned, just being in the top three series is that the seasons are long. You’ve got to be your best come the playoffs and you just can’t get impatient with any of that, just trust the process to be your best when you get there. There’s still a lot more steps we can take and I’m really hoping we can just take one step every weekend. We don’t need to make anymore big jumps -- just to be our best come the playoffs.”
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE LITTLE VICTORIES YOU MENTIONED EARLIER? “For me, I think our first small victory came at Richmond. It was our first race where we were really competitive and ran in the top five or top 10 at least all day, and we ended up finishing fourth or sixth, I believe. But just running up there all day, that was our first race of actually being in the game. The race before that at Atlanta and Vegas we were 15th-20th and we were just out to lunch, so just being able to be in the game, being one or two changes away when you start the race, instead of maybe the whole package being wrong. From there, we’ve been more consistent every week. Like I say, Kansas was a way better mile-and-a-half for us and Darlington was another step better. A stage win is hard to get, so that was probably bigger than a small victory for us. That was a pretty big one for our team and all of those things definitely add up.”
Friday’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 will be televised live on FS1 at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1.
For more information about The Pete Store, visit www.petestore.com
About The Pete Store
The Pete Store, LLC is a commercial truck dealer group with locations from Massachusetts to Florida. An exclusive dealer of Peterbilt heavy and medium-duty trucks, they provide a range of services to the trucking industry including Parts, Service, Sales, Body Shops, Leasing, Rental, and Financing. To learn more about The Pete Store visit www.thepetestore.com
About Front Row Motorsports
Front Row Motorsports (FRM) is a winning organization in the NASCAR Cup and Camping World Truck Series and the 2021 Daytona 500 champions. The team was founded in 2004 and is owned by successful entrepreneur, Bob Jenkins. FRM fields the No. 34 and the No. 38 NASCAR Cup Series teams along with the No. 38 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team– from its Mooresville, N.C. headquarters. Visit teamfrm.com and follow FRM on social media: Twitter at @Team_FRM, Instagram at @team_frm and Facebook at facebook.com/FrontRowMotorsports.