The Daytona 500 starting grid always brings forth special storylines and one of those is Landon Cassil, who put his No. 40 Carsforsale.com Chevrolet in the 18th starting spot on the grid for Hillman Racing.
Cassill says it’s a relief to simply be in the show as he’s been stressed out about it since July.
“We came down for the test and felt like we had a decent car, but we didn’t have the motor that we were going to race,” Cassill adds. “They came back and made some serious investments in it. For a small team, this race kind of makes our whole season, just the prize money alone to start on Sunday gets us through the next six or seven weeks.
“It’s just huge for us. Carsforsale.com jumped onboard to help us out for this weekend. We have a big deal we’re really working on, good people that we’re talking to, just this positive accomplishment is going to help tremendously. The team is just so pumped up. I’m really proud of them. Mike Hillman and Joe Falk have put a ton of faith in me, probably too much. I can’t appreciate it more.”
Cassill says that his team will savor the moment of being in the race, but come Sunday, it’ll be about keeping the car in one piece as they’d like to be able to take the car with them to Talladega Superspeedway later this year.
“It’s also important for us to get good points from Daytona to carry us once the 2013 points are no longer in effect, which I think is really only three races,” Cassill comments. “We’d love to come out there and win the Daytona 500, but the priority is to bring it home in one piece.”
The young driver has also had a bit of an adventure off the track as he suffered a black eye when his bicycle got hit by a car on Saturday.
“It’s actually healed pretty well,” Cassill adds. “I’m really lucky. Got some road rash on my arms and legs. Inside of my knees were bruised up pretty badly. But my face took most of the fall. Just the chin.
“The woman was trying to cross the road from a side street and cleared herself to the right, kind of rolled the stop sign, I believe, T-boned me really. Destroyed my bike. Face plant, blood. But I made the Daytona 500 and she doesn’t know that.”