Team Cadillac’s Pilgrim Earns First NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Start at Sonoma
CTS-V Coupe driver calls on Chevy speed to make first start in a Sprint Cup car
– O’Connell finishes on the podium for second straight day
– Pilgrim gets top-five on last lap
– Team Cadillac moves up in driver, manufacturer points
SONOMA, Calif. – Andy Pilgrim first sat in the Red Line Oil Chevrolet Impala SS on Friday morning, and by the time dinner rolled around, he’d put it in the starting field for Sunday’s 110-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Infineon Raceway.
“It was a huge challenge,” Pilgrim, driver of the No. 8 Team Cadillac CTS-V in the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge Series, said after pipping fellow road racer Tony Ave for the final starting spot in the 43-car field. “I beat him by a tenth of a second, and that was a tenth faster than I’d been all day.
“I screwed up on the lap, but apparently I didn’t screw up too badly. I just made it.”
At the age of 54, Pilgrim is making his first start in NASCAR’s top series. Earlier this season, Pilgrim made his 100th start in the Pirelli World Challenge Series.
Pilgrim’s lap of 79.702 seconds topped Ave’s Ford by .15 seconds, and he’ll start 43rd on Sunday.
“Well, I can’t go backwards, so I guess I’ll go forward,” he laughed after his run. “We ran a lot of laps in practice (28) and got the car to where it was decent, but this is all new to me, mate. I’ve only had 30 minutes in a Cup car, ever, so I’m pretty proud of myself.”
Pilgrim has made starts in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series, but the cars are sufficiently different that they don’t translate all that well, he said. Asked how he thought his race would go on Sunday, Pilgrim took a moment to answer.
“They give you this sheet at the end of practice,” he explained. “It tells you the best averages over 10 laps for every car on the track. Some of them might not have run 10 in a row, but I was second on that list.”
Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at media.cadillac.com.
Cadillac Racing Communications