Event: N.C. Education Lottery 200 (Race 8 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile quad-oval)
Format: Three Segments; 30 laps/30 laps/74 laps
Start/Finish: 3rd / 7th (running, completed 134 of 134 laps)
Winner: Kyle Busch of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
Todd Gilliland and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team earned a top-10 finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Friday night’s N.C. Education Lottery 200. The young driver posted the second and third-fastest laps in two practices on Friday morning. Friday afternoon, Gilliland earned the third starting position for his second start at the 1.5-mile oval in one round of single-vehicle qualifying.
Under the lights, Gilliland quickly jumped to the lead. He led until team owner Kyle Busch passed him on lap 5. The 19-year-old would lead several more times for a total of seven laps. The No. 4 team dealt with a tight handling condition on the Mobil 1 Tundra and some late race fender damage, to pick up their fourth top-10 of the season with a seventh-place finish.
Stage One Recap:
- In one round of single-truck qualifying, Gilliland put his No. 4 Tundra in the third starting position.
- In the opening laps, the teenager jumped out to the lead, but quickly surrendered it to the No. 51.
- When the caution flag flew for the conclusion of the stage Richmond made the call to bring the No. 4 to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments.
- Gilliland finished the first stage in the second position.
Stage Two Recap:
- Gilliland restarted the second stage in the 20th position after several competitors took only two tires or did not pit.
- By lap 50 the No. 4 was scored within the top 10 and Gilliland finished the second stage in 10th.
- Richmond called the No. 4 to pit road for four tires and fuel following the second stage.
Stage Three Recap:
- Gilliland began the final stage in the ninth position, and reported that his truck was much better but on the tight side.
- After a caution on lap 79, the No. 4 Tundra had some right front fender damage and Richmond brought the teenager to pit road for repairs and four fresh tires.
- Several laps later, the caution flag flew again and Richmond opted for a fuel-only stop securing track position in the top-20.
- On the final caution on lap 128, Richmond made the call to bring Gilliland to pit road to put gently used scuffed tires on and Gilliland was able to use these to his advantage to pick up multiple positions and work his way into the top-10.
- The second-generation driver took the checkered flag in the seventh position in just his second start at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Was tonight’s finish what you and the team needed?
“That was better than we were running there at the end. It was good to come in and get a little bit newer tires and just be able to make up a little bit at the end. At the beginning of the race, I thought we were going to be decent. Nothing like clean air though. We made the call there trying to win that stage and finished second, so got some okay points there. Mainly that just killed our track position for the rest of the night. I’d just get super tight on the end of the runs. Just nothing I could do to make it wrap the corner. Part of it. We were really tight in practice, so just have to go and pay more attention to that in practice going forward with the race. It’s all about communication.”
N.C. Education Lottery 200 Recap:
- Kyle Busch won the race by 1.115 seconds followed by Brennan Poole, Stewart Friesen, Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured seven cautions for 31 laps and 19 lead changes among nine drivers.
How Gilliland’s KBM Teammates Fared:
Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra, finished 11th
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra, finished 1st
NGOTS Championship Standings:
Gilliland and the No. 4 team move to ninth in the Gander Trucks Driver Championship Standings following the eighth race of the season, 78 points behind the leader, Grant Enfinger and in possession of the eighth and final Playoff spot by one point over teammate Harrison Burton.
Todd Gilliland and the No. 4 team will be back on track Friday, June 7 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Live coverage of the Rattlesnake 400 begins at 9:00 p.m. EST on FS1.