Ever wonder what exactly goes through a Sprint Cup driver's mind when he's on the track? Ever wonder what he's doing when he's not on the track? Now's your chance to find out. We've got David Gilliland, driver of the No. 34 Taco Bell Ford, joining us every other week to take your questions on anything and everything. Post your questions in the comments below or fire them to firstname.lastname@example.org. For now, get ready to learn a little more about Taco Bell and what some drivers really think of others on the track:
When you have a low qualifying position and you're back in the pack, what are your initial goals in a race?
The first 15 laps, you try to pass as many people as you can. The main goal at the start is to try to stay on the lead lap and hopefully distance yourself from other people around you. The goal is to be racing in a different group of people as soon as you can.
Do you get free Taco Bell?
No, but I eat there a lot. I like the double decker taco supremes and the enchiritos.
When you're out in front, who's the last driver you want to see coming up in your rear-view?
Probably Jimmie Johnson. He's the best out there, he's tough to hold off, and when he gets around you, he's tough to catch.
Assume all the cars were gray, no logos. Could you tell each driver's style by the way they run on the track, or do you need those logos to tell who's who?
Everybody's got their own style that you can see. Tony Stewart, for example -- if he's got a good car coming up to pass you and if you don't give him some room, he's probably going to move you. On the flip side, if you have a good car, he's going to give you room and not try to race you to make you pass.
There are other guys, though ... Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. races hard all the time. Juan Pablo Montoya is another one. I think at the end of the day that hurts you. You have 500 miles to race with 43 guys, you have to have give and take.
What's the process involved in getting a ride year to year?
You try to keep your ears open with what's going on, who's going where. Some guys have agents. I don't. I do a lot of stuff myself. The biggest thing to do is call when something comes up; when a ride becomes available, you call.
I have a good relationship with our car owner, Bob Jenkins, so I try to stay in touch with him and stay visible. I'm not signed for next year, but we're working on it right now. I'd love to get that done and behind us. It'll be good not to have to worry about that in the winter.