PUEBLO, Colo. – NASCAR driver David Gilliland chatted all things stock car racing and PBR prior to this weekend’s Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
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PBR.com: Is there any comparison you can make between driving a stock car at 200 mph to riding a 2,000-pound bucking bull?
DG: The adrenaline is definitely at peak when the race car is racing and that is what I love about it. My adrenaline gets up watching bull riding. I can’t imagine riding them, but I am sure it is similar. I probably would have to say, if I had to guess, it would be similar to like being three-wide at Daytona or Talladega, a speedway race, the way your adrenaline is going.
PBR.com: Have you ever attended a PBR event and what are your thoughts about professional bull riding?
DG: I have. I think it was in Vegas. It has been a long time ago. I love it. I enjoy watching it. I have found some local bull riding things in Mooresville (North Carolina) and we have watched them a couple of times, and it is always a lot of fun and exciting. It is an adrenaline rush just being there.
PBR.com: What impresses you the most about bull riders as athletes?
DG: How brave they are and how they get bucked off and everything else that happens and they get back on and continue to ride. Their schedules is very busy also and they get beat up, bruised up and they just continue to go each and every week. I have a lot of respect for those guys.
PBR.com: What shocks you the most about them?
DG: Probably the same thing. That they can get stepped on by a however many thousand pound bull. To get stepped on and bucked off and they just keep going and going. Probably their desire to just keep going after something like that.
PBR.com: In bull riding there is always the fear of a rider facing a life-threatening injury, what are some fears that NASCAR drivers may face?
DG: I would probably say similar in that respect also. It is a chance you take obviously. The people that write our insurance probably think a lot of the same between race car drivers and bull riding. There are certain things that you do and you know that you are taking a chance every time you get in or you get on a bull or strap into a race car that something can happen, but it is what you love to do. It is why we do it. It is just the chances we take.
PBR.com: Bull riders understand the importance of needing a good bull to potentially win an event. Obviously, the same can be said for NASCAR drivers and their cars; but how exactly important is it? And is there a way a good driver can make up the difference of a struggling stock car?
DG: To a point. At the level of the Sprint Cup Series it is harder. Definitely all of the drivers are very good and very talented. It definitely takes a good race car and a good team and everything behind you. There are just a lot of factors that go into it. I have seen that in bull riding also. I think they go by a draw on what bull they get and how the bull is feeling that day and everything else. There is a lot to it and a lot of similarities there. They are a lot like in many ways.
PBR.com: Similar to the PBR, NASCAR has events all across the United States. How do you travel and what do you do away from the sport to have some fun and relax?
DG: We travel by airplane and so that is nice. We are generally gone three or four days a week. Our schedule consists of 36 race. We are definitely away from home a lot and when we are home we like to relax. My son races car and my daughter rides horses. I am pretty much, even when I am not at the race track racing I am at a race track with my son or at a horse arena watching my daughter ride.
PBR.com: What would you name a bull and why?
DG: Probably Bruiser because that is wha ti probably would end up with – a lot of bruises – it if I rode it.
The Built Ford Tough Series will stop in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 25-26 for the Allentown Invitational.
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