Date: August 16, 2018
Event: UNOH 200 (Race 16 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (0.533-mile oval)
Format: Three Segments; 55 laps/55 laps/90 laps
Start/Finish: 8th / 5th (running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Winner: Johnny Sauter of GMS Racing (Chevrolet)
Bristol Motor Speedway marked the final race of the regular season for the Truck Series. Todd Gilliland needed a win to make the playoffs in his rookie season. Although he did not win the race, he came back from a spin and pit road penalty which put him a lap down to finish fifth.
Stage One Recap:
- Gilliland started eighth, but fell back to 11th since his Banfield Pet Hospital Tundra was too loose.
- By the end of the first 55-lap stage, he was 13th.
- He pitted for four tires and an air pressure adjustment.
Stage Two Recap:
- He restarted ninth for the second stage, but on the next lap his Tundra was very loose causing him to spin out.
- Gilliland came to pit road for four new tires and a chassis adjustment. As he was leaving the pit box, he had to stop to remove a wedge wrench. NASCAR issued a penalty which cost him a lap.
- When the race resumed he was back in 26th place, one lap down.
- The caution flew to end Stage Two on lap 110. Gilliland was 24th, but crew chief Marcus Richmond instructed him to stay out and take the waive around to get his lap back.
Stage Three Recap:
- Gilliland restarted the final 90-lap stage 20th at the tail end of the lead lap.
- He was passing trucks with ease and the Banfield Pet Hospital Tundra was one of the fastest trucks on the track.
- With 50 laps to go Gilliland was 15th and still on the move. At lap 175 he was running his best lap times of the night.
- With 15 laps remaining he was eighth, but would not settle for just a top 10. In the closing laps, Gilliland fought his way up to finish fifth for his third top-five finish of the season.
Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 4 Banfield Pet Hospital Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
What happened out there tonight?
“Spinning out – your pride is crushed there. It’s one of the worst things that could happen. Then just getting that one lap penalty really put us behind and then after that Kyle (Busch) just came on the radio and said we really needed to work the top here. We’ve watched plenty of film with him doing it, so there’s no reason that we couldn’t and luckily, we were able to get around these guys fairly quick. That was a lot of fun. That was the most fun I’ve had in a truck race by far. Coming home fifth – we just need to keep clicking off these top-five finishes and we’re getting closer and closer every week.”
UNOH 200 Recap:
- Johnny Sauter won the race followed by Stewart Friesen, John Hunter Nemechek, Parker Klingerman and Gilliland rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured five cautions for a total of 38 laps. There were six lead changes among four drivers. KBM’s Christopher Bell led 31 laps while his teammate Noah Gragson led seven.
How Gilliland’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished 9th
- Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 28th
NCWTS Owner Championship Standings:
The No. 4 team is 10th in the Truck Series Owner’s Championship Standings, while Gilliland moved up to 11th in the Driver Championship Standings.
The Truck Series returns to action north of the border next week on Sunday, Aug. 26 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. Live coverage of the race begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1.