Thursday, August 13, 2009

When Driver and Fans meet! Gilliland Chats with Gilly's Gang!

Many fans of NASCAR drivers crave the chance to meet their driver. They spend hours in line waiting for autographs, they will spend huge amounts of money for fan events, and will find the most strategic locations at the track to catch a glimpse of their idol. For many fans, they rarely get a chance to see past the corporate-babble that comes from race time interviews. But sometimes, drivers remember who their fans are, and want to interact with them!

Something pretty special happened at on Wednesday evening. David made room in his schedule, and agreed to spend an hour with his fans in a chat room! A full chat room saw David busy typing for an hour, responding to 45 of the 65+ fan-submitted questions!

Post-chat, fans were raving over the experience. "Tonight's chat was the best ever!" "Tonight was the best I have felt about NASCAR all year! THANKS DAVID FOR BEING OUR DRIVER!" "I am just amazed at what a terrific guy David is. What a breath of fresh air to have someone who is so appreciative of his fans. That was just the coolest chat ever -- and I am so grateful that David took the time out of his schedule to do that with us."

Gilliland's fans, self-proclaimed as Gilly's Gang, earlier this year banded together to donate enough money for a set of tires, amassing the needed amount in less than 48 hours. As a reward, Kevin Buckler of TRG Motorsports, used the rear deck to sport a fan-designed sticker for the car for a race. Gilly's Gang showed up in force for several races this year, peppering the background of the SpeedTV broadcasts with Gilly related signs. David also sends periodic messages to his fans via his message board, and is very aware that every race has a race chat in progress, with fans watching every step of David's cars on the track!

The chat provided enough information for a few days worth of blogs, but here are some of the highlights!

David talked about his current season. He had nothing but raves for his crew chief Slugger Labbe! "Slugger has a ton of experience. He is a great guy, and we get along well. He is very competitive just like me. We want to do well. I think he is a great crew chief." David was asked a few questions about the Start and Park situation that has been occurring with TRG Motorsports. "Start and Parking SUCKS (excuse my French) I would never do it full time. Remember, we do it to race, 1 or 2 start and parks so we can race. (It is) the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I am a very competitive person" When asked "David, I saw how fast the car was at Dover in practice. Is there ever a time when the owners might say 'Man, we are fast, we better go ahead and race?'" David responded "I think everyone needs to know that everyone at TRG works day and night to be able to race every week. We go to the track with the cars ready to race. Whether we get to or not comes down to if we have the money. (But) there is a possibility that it could happen."

Fans tried to pin David down on his future. He responded to questions about the rumor of being in a 4th Joe Gibbs Racing car for three races with "(I'm) working very hard on lots of things. But that would be awesome though, wouldn't it?" He also said that if he gets something with Gibbs, it would be one of the most competitive rides, as they are on top of their game. When pressed about next year, he stated his goals for 2010 were to be in a competitive car where he has a chance to win.

David continued to answer questions for the rest of the hour, visiting with family and friends alike, many of those friends coming from his early racing days.

In a future blog, I will reveal more information about this driver, one who tells us he appreciates his fans as much as they appreciate their driver.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was a great event we got to chat with David for a whole hour and it didn't cost a penny. Thanks again to David for taking the time to spend with his fans.
MaddMike Proud Member of Gilly's Gang