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Gifford credits the Drive for Diversity program with helping keep his career afloat as he worked to put himself in position for a Nationwide shot _ and he admits that it’s been tough to sleep this week.

Gifford is doing his best to manage expectations for the biggest race of his career so far.

“I’m trying to just be pretty mellow about it and not get too worked up. I’ve still got a 150-lap K&N lap race on Friday night, and that’s my biggest focus. I’m really trying to win a championship and we’ve got a little ground to make up,” Gifford said. “I’ll get up Saturday morning…and go try it there. You know, whatever comes of it is what it is. But I feel really good about the race. Hopefully, as long as I can keep my head on my shoulders, it should turn out pretty good.”

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Follow Luke Meredith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP