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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Barber IndyCar iRacing results

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Scott McLaughlin led the final six laps Saturday and finished 0.4241 seconds ahead of teammate Will Power to win the Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.

Scott Speed finished third behind the Team Penske drivers. Alex Palou and Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top five.

Click here for the full boxscore from Saturday’s IndyCar iRacing event at Barber Motorsports Park.

WINNER: Scott McLaughlin holds off teammate Will Power

WHAT DRIVERS SAID: Postrace reactions on social media

Other notable finishers:

Colton Herta (seventh), Robert Wickens (eighth), Jimmie Johnson (12th), Graham Rahal (14th), Alexander Rossi (22nd).

Sage Karam led a race-high 24 laps but retired from the 45-lap event because of a crash and finished 27th of 29 drivers.