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NASCAR Cup: Ricky Benton Racing plans Daytona 500 debut with David Gilliland

David Gilliland (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

David Gilliland (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

David Gilliland plans to run the Daytona 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 18 as driver of the No. 92 Ricky Benton Racing Enterprises Ford, according to an announcement from the race team Wednesday. Mike Hester will be his crew chief. If there are more than 40 entrants for the race, Gilliland will have to qualify, as the No. 92 team does not have a charter that would guarantee a starting position. If he makes the race, it will mark the Cup Series debut for Ricky Benton Racing.

“Ricky is a great guy and a real racer,” Gilliland said. “I really appreciate the faith he has put in me to drive his first MENCS attempt. Having worked with Mike before, I know he has done everything needed to give us a competitive car to go out and qualify and race well at Daytona. I think we have a chance to go out and surprise some people.”

RBR is a part-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team for which Gilliland seven races in that series in 2015. The team has yet to announce its Truck Series plans for this season.

“After talking with our partners, we felt the time was right to make a move into the Cup Series,” team owner Ricky Benton said. “Getting David back on board was also key. Having a veteran driver with his experience and success on restrictor-plate tracks – with whom Hester has familiarity – gives us a leg up as we try to make the race. I am thankful for Roush Yates, Carquest, Highland Construction and the entire Black’s Tire family for going racing with us.”

Gilliland has made 332-career starts in the Cup Series, the last two coming in 2016. He has four-career top-fives and eight top-10s with best finishes of second at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway for Yates Racing in 2008 and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for Front Row Motorsports in 2018.

Gilliland also is expected to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season-opener at Daytona the previous Friday evening as driver of the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

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Posted by on January 18, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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