Gillig to Wheel O’Brien Brothers XPS

Tony Gillig still has his sights set on racing in the “Battle For The Belts” in October at Texas Motorplex – and now the Extreme Pro Stock standout will just be trying to get there in a different car….

Starting with next month’s Dragstock VII (Sept. 9-10) at Rockingham Dragway and continuing through the final three races of the 2011 ADRL season, Gillig, who is from Illinois, will be driving Larry O’Brien’s Bear’s Performance Products 2010 Dodge Avenger, based from Canada.

Gillig will not be driving as part of Dingman Racing after a change was made following the recent Speedtech U.S. Drags IV, but he excited for the new opportunity with O’Brien and his team.

Tony Gillig

“I talked to Larry about finishing the season with him and he was all for it. It takes an exceptionally generous guy to offer their car for a fellow racer for the rest of the season,” Gillig said.

“For now, we’re going to do these three races and see where it takes us. Larry and (his brother) Wayne discussed this and thought, ‘Why not?’ No matter what happens, we will have some fun along the way.”

Gillig made his ADRL debut in April at Palm Beach International Raceway and advanced to the semifinals at Maple Grove Raceway in May.

He’s currently 11th in points, but is just 131 points out of eighth place. The top eight drivers in each class will compete in the one-day “Battle For The Belts” shootout on Oct. 22 as part of the LenMar Motorsports ADRL World Finals VII at Texas Motorplex.

Despite the late start to the year, and the late-season change, the talented Gillig still has his eyes set on competing in the shootout.

“I’m just a couple rounds out of eighth, so I’m right there. This is absolutely a great opportunity and I can’t thank Larry enough for getting a chance to finish the season,” Gillig said.

Gillig will head to Windsor Ontario next week to get fitted in O’Brien’s car, which was built by Jerry Haas Race Cars and powered by Jon Kaase Racing Engines.  From there, Gillig plans to test the day before Dragstock at Rockingham Dragway, the site of where Gillig won a national event in 2006.

“We’ll probably just make a couple runs to make sure it goes straight and everything is cool with the car,” Gillig said. “They’ve had a little trouble with the car as of late, so hopefully we can sort it out and make the car fast again. They’ve got great equipment, so I think we’ll get it figured out.”

O'Brien Brothers - Bears Performance XPS Dodge Avenger

Gillig went a season-best 4.06 at Maple Grove en route to his semifinal finish and advanced to the quarterfinals in June at Heartland Park Topeka.

After qualifying No. 6 at Virginia Motorsports Park earlier this month at the Speedtech U.S. Drags IV, Gillig fell in the first round for the second straight race.  He’s hoping to reverse his recent fortunes starting in Rockingham.

“Larry and his family are great people and I’m really looking forward to this,” Gillig said. “I’ve had some decent luck at Rockingham, so hopefully we can get off on the right foot and finish the year strong.  I really think we’re going to go fast and do well.”

Posted by: Josh Hachat

Bruce Biegler Photo

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