Gilliland living his dream

first_imgIt’s similar to one of those feel-good movies that never gets made. Race-car driver bounces around Southern California short tracks, doing well, and a year later, finds himself sitting on the pole for the premier stock-car race of the season, NASCAR’s Daytona 500. Too hokie, producers might say. Too unbelievable, NASCAR Nextel Cup watchers would think. Unlikely to happen, Cup insiders would insist. Besides, this rookie’s too old. Gilliland was offered a one-shot Cup deal to race from Bryan Mullet at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma and he was then subsequently signed by Robert Yates Racing to replace Elliott Sadler, who jumped to Ray Evernham’s team midway through the season. He raced the final 14 Cup events for Yates, forgoing a chance to run for Rookie of the Year honors. He was on the pole at Talladega, Ala. Superspeedway, finishing 15th in the race. He also finished 15th in Atlanta. “A lot has happened in one year,” Gilliland said. “My wife (Michelle) was saying the other day that it was just a year since we closed escrow on our house (in Mooresville, N.C.).” Gilliland has won 11 races at Irwindale in three divisions. He won single Super Late Model races in 1999 and 2000 and had his best year in 2001 when he led the track’s top series with four victories. He finished fourth in points that year. He then jumped to the Southwest Series, where he has won three times at Irwindale, twice in 2003. In his last Irwindale appearance, in 2005, he won the Toyota All-Star Showdown. “No, it does not seem like that long ago,” he says of racing at Irwindale. “I’m just making the most of an opportunity.” When he was running at Irwindale, Gilliland admits he could not see himself being on the pole — with his teammate, Ricky Rudd, beside him — for Sunday’s 500-mile race. It was just a dream that was nurtured by his father, Butch, also a NASCAR racer who had never quite reached the dream of running in NASCAR’s top echelon. Improbable dream? Even broadcaster Sadler mis-spoke this week when he indicated on national television that another rookie named David — Reutimann — was on the pole. “It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m keeping it that way,” Gilliland said. Ive been getting an incredible amount of calls from friends and family. My dads been here with me. Everyones been supportive of me. Gilliland, who has a contract with Yates through 2008, had never been to Daytona, which is a 2.5-mile oval with banking as high as 31 degrees in the corners, until testing began this season. That pole at Talladega qualified him for last week’s Budweiser Shootout, and he finished second to Tony Stewart. Then on Thursday, he finished fourth in the 150-mile qualifying race. “All the credit goes to the team,” said Gilliland, who was the crew chief to his father’s West team when Butch won the 1997 title. “Theyve worked extremely hard and (crew chief) Todd (Parrott) has worked really hard on the motor. They’ve had a lot of success here.” Yates’ teams have won three Daytona 500s, the last in 2000 with Dale Jarrett, but a team in disarray struggled last year. “This is a good day,” Yates said of the 1-2 pole day. “This is as good as ‘back in the day’ or better.” When he first showed up at Daytona, Gilliland admits he wasn’t sure what to expect. He took his car out — the one that was second in the Shootout — and told Rudd, who came out of retirement to help Gilliland and is making his 29th Daytona start, that it didn’t seem right. Rudd, 50, got in the car and agreed. “It was a white-knuckle ride,” Gilliland recalled. “Daytona is extremely rough, and one mistake… “Growing up, racing in NASCAR late models, it’s something you dream of doing. Just pulling into the race track for the first time and seeing the Daytona name on the wall is something I’ll never forget. To be able to go race out there and learn the draft and the track, the great history behind the track, it was incredible. I definitely have butterflies going into the start of the race.” That has been the learning process of Cup racing, he says. “It’s the 500 miles,” he said. “Its more draining mentally than physically. That’s the toughest test. You have to give 100 percent effort without one mistake. That one mistake will cost you. My first time here. I’m just wanting to learn,.I’m just wanting to learn. We’ve taken a big step in the right direction.” keith.lair@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2272 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Hokie? Impossible? Well, movie scripts don’t turn out this good. “It’s pretty incredible, Gilliland said this week, between filming a commercial and now the man of the hour, talking nonstop to television, radio and newspaper reporters. “It’s been an incredibly fast ride. It’s pretty exciting. I’m just taking it one day at a time.” Two years ago, the former Chino Hills resident by way of Riverside was still lurking in the Irwindale pits. Not as often as between 1999 and 2003, when Gilliland was an Irwindale regular. The 30-year-old — old by first-year Cup standards — landed a partial Busch Series ride last year with the newly formed Clay Andrew Racing team of Corona. The team did not have a sponsor. Heck, there was not even one word about Gilliland or his team in the 2006 series media guide. But Gilliland shocked the NASCAR world by winning the Meijer 300 race at Kentucky in only his seventh start in the series. It was the first win of the year by a non-Cup regular, and driver-turned-broadcaster Hermie Sadler called it “the biggest upset in Busch Series history.” center_img A scant four years ago, David Gilliland was walking the Irwindale Speedway pit area, talking it up with fellow Southern California drivers, could-be team-owners and sponsors. Anyone with a pit pass. Sunday, that same driver will be sitting on the pole for the Great American Race. last_img read more

Letterkenny businessman ordered to pay €15,800 in fees to legal firm

first_imgA Donegal businessman has been ordered to pay €15,800 to a local solicitor for unpaid legal fees.Gus O’Driscoll, of Wet n Wild outdoor store in Letterkenny, appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Civil Court. O’Driscoll, with an address in Kilmacrennan, was sued for failing to paid fees to Gibson and Company of Letterkenny.The businessman had employed the services of the legal firm when his business got into trouble with Danske Bank.O’Driscoll claimed in court that he was a simple man but claimed that he had been charged 300% of what he should have been charged.He also complained that he had been forced to deal with numerous solicitors within the firm and that he had to constantly update them on his case.However, after hearing the evidence President of the Circuit Court, Judge Raymond Groarke, said he was satisfied that Mr O’Driscoll was far from being a simple man.He also noted that in finding in favour of Gibson and Co that the defendant “could not have his cake and eat it.”He also noted that Gibson and Co and Mr O’Driscoll had enjoyed a personal relationship and asked if they wanted to come to any kind of agreement before he gave his ruling.The parties failed to come to an agreement and Judge Groake ruled in favour of Gibson and Co in the sum of €15,800 and also ordered costs in favour of Gibson and Co.Letterkenny businessman ordered to pay €15,800 in fees to legal firm was last modified: October 13th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtfeesGibson and Cogus o’driscollWet n Wildlast_img read more