Date: Aug. 1, 2019
Event: Eldora Dirt Derby (Race 15 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (.5-mile clay oval)
Format: Three Segments; 40 laps/50 laps/60 laps
Start/Finish: 8th/5th (Running, completed 150 of 150 laps)
Winner: Stewart Friesen of Halmar-Friesen Racing (Chevrolet)
Todd Gilliland and the No. 4 JBL/SiriusXM team put down a strong run to earn a top-five finish at the Eldora Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. In two NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series practice sessions on Wednesday, Gilliland posted the eighth-fastest lap in the first practice and was fourth-fastest in final practice. In the third of five qualifying races on Thursday afternoon, Gilliland raced his way to second place, earning the eighth starting position for the feature event.
Under the lights on the half-mile clay oval, Gilliland had a strong run, staying in the top five for most of the race. The young driver avoided trouble amidst the myriad of caution flags, 12 for 68 laps, and brought his JBL/SiriusXM Tundra home in fifth, after challenging for the lead for much of the final stage.
Stage One Recap:
- In the third qualifying race, Gilliland finished second, earning the eighth starting spot.
- Gilliland brushed the wall early in the first stage, but did not sustain significant damage.
- The driver expressed that his Tundra was tight but snapping loose in the exit of the turns.
- At the conclusion of Stage 1, Gilliland had worked his way up to the second position.
- Crew chief Wes Ward called the No. 4 to pit road following the first stage, and the JBL/SiriusXM team changed four Goodyear tires and filled it with Sunoco fuel, while making minor adjustments.
Stage Two Recap:
- Since most of the lead lap trucks did not pit, Gilliland started the second stage in 12th, but did not stay there for long, working his way back in to the top-10 by lap 69, among several cautions.
- Gilliland climbed to seventh before the 50-lap stage concluded.
- Most of the top-10 trucks pit after Stage 2, but Ward kept Gilliland on the track, allowing him to regain the second position.
Stage Three Recap
- The young driver began the final 60-lap stage in second and continued to challenge for the lead throughout the segment.
- Though the final laps were caution-filled, Gilliland remained in control of the third position until the final restart with two laps to go when he was shuffled to fifth, where he would cross the finish line.
- This was Gilliland’s third top-five and ninth top-10 of the season.
Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 4 JBL/SiriusXM Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Solid all day Todd; talk about your run here today.
“Definitely a solid day, but solid days don’t cut it at this point. We’ve put ourselves in a bad points position and we’ve got to deal with it. Today, I felt like we had a truck that could compete for the win; it was just about getting in the right lane. All the little details that I should have been a little better at. It’s all a learning curve. I’m really happy with the race we ran. I just wish we could have finished it off better because we ran better than fifth.”
Eldora Dirt Derby Recap:
- Stewart Friesen won the race with Sheldon Creed, Grant Enfinger, Mike Marlar and Todd Gilliland rounding out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured 12 cautions for 68 laps and one lead change among two drivers.
How Gilliland’s KBM Teammates Fared:
Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra, finished 31st
Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra, finished sixth
NGOTS Championship Standings:
Gilliland and the No. 4 team rank seventh in the Gander Trucks Driver Championship Standings following the 15th race of the season, 149 points behind the leader.
Todd Gilliland and the No. 4 JBL team will return on Saturday, August 10 at Michigan International Speedway. Live coverage of the Corrigan Oil 200 begins at 1 p.m. EST on FS1.