Start ‘N’ Park Blog is taking a look back at the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver by driver. This recap will take a look at the driver’s stats, the season’s highlights, the season’s lowlights, what a quick look at next year. This installment takes a look back at David Gilliland who finished in the 30th place in the final standings.
Preseason Pick: 28th
Top 5s: 0
Top 10s: 0
What Was Said Prior To The Season:
“David Gilliland, has there been any driver outside of Derrike Cope to make a career out of one race win? Ever since he won that Busch race a few years ago with minimal Cup drivers in the field, everyone thinks you’re a Cup driver. But we all know your dirty secret, you’re not really a Cup driver. With that said, you put up a good fight so I’ve got to give you credit. Hopefully you can secure sponsorship for the full year and the team doesn’t decided to replace you with J.J. Yeley for random races and make you start and park in a third car.”
What Happened In 2012:
Gilliland was never asked to switch up cars, that job got dealt to Josh Wise for 2012. Gilliland posted a best finish of 13th at the first Talladega race, beyond that, there was nothing eventful for him. He and teammate David Ragan ran mid-20s most of the season and stayed away from the spotlight. Another positive is that of his four DNFs for the season, only one was due to engine issues. This team showed they can consistently finish races, now they need to consistently finish races higher in the final rundown.
On To 2013:
Gilliland was just announced to be returning to the team, which stability will aid him and his team. Sponsorship is the biggest question as the team turned away from having owner Bob Jenkins’ chain of restaurants on the car(s) for most of the season. I think they can build on the foundation set in 2012, just need some luck along the way.