NASCAR: Top drivers of 2014 – No. 30 David Gilliland — and series recap

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Today we wrap up our series of the 30 top drivers of 2014 today with 30th-ranked David Gilliland.

Here are the drivers and dates that their season reviews ran on. Click on the driver’s name to read their 2014 recap and look-ahead to 2015:

Dec. 11 Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman
Dec. 12 Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano
Dec. 13 Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon
Dec. 14 Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dec. 15 Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch
Dec. 16 Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch
Dec. 17 AJ Allmendinger, Greg Biffle
Dec. 18 Kasey Kahne, Aric Almirola
Dec. 19 Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray
Dec. 20 Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon
Dec. 21 Paul Menard, Brian Vickers
Dec. 22 Marcos Ambrose, Martin Truex Jr.
Dec. 23 Tony Stewart, Casey Mears
Dec. 24 Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Danica Patrick
Dec. 25 Justin Allgaier, David Gilliland


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David Gilliland

Season finish: 30th

2014 Season Stats: 0 wins, 0 top-5, 0 top-10, 1 Pole.

What went right: Gilliland struggled to a 30th place finish in 2014. High points were few, but there were some: He earned the pole for the Coke Zero 400 race at Daytona in July (unfortunately he wrecked in the race and finished 35th). He also led 14 laps during the season, with his best finishes being 17th in the second Pocono race and 21st on the road course at Sonoma.

What went wrong: It was a difficult season for Gilliland, who recorded his third finish of 30th place in the last four seasons, and finished 30th or worse in five of the last six seasons. Even a switch in crew chiefs, from Frank Kerr to Jay Guy after the fall Chase race at Kansas really didn’t make that much of a difference. Interestingly, Gilliland started the season 34th after the Daytona 500 and never varied much, being ranked between 30th and 34th.

2015 Prospectus: Gilliland is expected to return to drive the No. 38 Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports once again in 2015. There have been no announcements to the contrary. Likewise, there have been no announcements that Guy will not return as crew chief for Gilliland, either. While there have been rumors that teammate David Ragan, who finished 32nd in 2014, may not return to FRR and possibly be replaced by Cole Whitt, it’s looking more like FRR will have a three-car lineup of Gilliland, Ragan and Whitt. One other thing to keep an eye on is Gilliland’s 14-year-old son, Todd, who has become quite a proficient late model racer.

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INDYCAR: Kanaan fastest in practice at Pocono

Chris Owens/IndyCar
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Very fittingly, the fastest car in Saturday’s lone practice session for ABC Supply 500 was the No. 14 ABC Supply Chevrolet of Tony Kanaan.

The 44-year-old Brazilian showed plenty of speed in the afternoon’s two hour practice session at Pocono Raceway, turning a 216.354 mph lap around the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

The session was the only on-track activity of the day for the NTT IndyCar Series, as heavy cloud cover and rain postponed the first practice session of the day and cancelled qualifying completely.

As the rain began to clear and track drying got underway, INDYCAR officials made the decision to combine the postponed one-hour morning session with the one-hour afternoon session, creating a single two-hour session for drivers to reacquaint themselves with the track known as “The Tricky Triangle”.

Scott Dixon finished the session second fastest with a 215.761 mph lap, while Santino Ferrcucci ended the session third-fastest with an 215.377 mph lap.

Alexander Rossi (215.373 mph) was fourth fastest in the session, followed by Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud (215.368 mph), who ended the session fifth-fastest despite missing nearly 45-minutes of track time early on due to a clutch issue.

Colton Herta was sixth-fastest at the completion of the session with a 215.338 mph lap, while Sebastian Bourdais (215.267 mph), Charlie Kimball (214.818 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (214.623 mph), and Graham Rahal (214.617 mph) rounded out the top ten.

Current series points leader Josef Newgarden ended the session 17th-fastest with a 214.174 mph lap.

Live coverage of the ABC Supply 500 begins Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Click here for full practice results 

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