Date: Oct. 12, 2019
Event: Sugarlands Shine (Race 20 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile tri-oval)
Format: Three Segments; 20 laps/20 laps/54 laps
Start/Finish: 6th/2nd (Running, completed 98 of 98 laps)
Winner: Spencer Boyd of Young’s Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Todd Gilliland and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team earned a top-five finish at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday in the Sugarlands Shine 250 in his second start at the famed Alabama track. On Friday, Gilliland was 18th-fastest and second-fastest in two practice sessions. In one round of single-truck qualifying on a cool Saturday morning, Gilliland earned the sixth starting spot.
Gilliland began the race in sixth, but quickly jumped to the front of the pack, then dropped back through several early caution periods and red flag. For the remainder of the race, Gilliland was consistently near the front of the pack in the Mobil 1 Tundra, leading once again in the final stage. Ultimately, after a late race caution and the disqualification of the first-place truck, Gilliland claimed the runner-up finish.
Stage One Recap:
- In one round of single vehicle qualifying, Gilliland set a lap of 53.233 seconds and 179.922 mph, earning the sixth starting position.
- The young driver immediately jumped to the front of the field, leading Lap 2.
- Although he was shuffled back in the pack, Gilliland remained in the top-10, reporting that his Tundra was battling a tight handling condition and lacked front grip.
- After a lengthy red flag for fluid cleanup, Gilliland restarted in 11th, fell back to 19th, and then surged forward to finish the stage in ninth.
- Following the conclusion of the first stage, crew chief Wes Ward called Gilliland to pit road for left side tires and fuel.
Stage Two Recap:
- After a quick pit stop between stages, Gilliland began the second stage in ninth.
- Under caution on lap 30, Gilliland reported that his Tundra was “plowing tight.”
- The 19-year-old finished the second stage in ninth and Ward once again brought him to pit road for two tires and fuel.
Stage Three Recap
- Gilliland began the final stage in eighth.
- He quickly piloted his No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra to the lead, leading six laps before getting shuffled out of the lead.
- Under green flag conditions, Ward called him to pit road on lap 64 for a scheduled pit stop.
- Once stops cycled through, Gilliland was again in the top-five.
- Gilliland survived a late race wreck and restart in overtime to cross the line in third, but the apparent winner, Johnny Sauter, was disqualified after NASCAR reviewed the finish, and Gilliland gained one spot to finish second, his fifth top-five of 2019.
Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Talk about your runner-up finish today.
“It was good. Our Tundra just wasn’t fast enough all day. We made a lot of good moves and just every time I’d get to the front, I was not fast enough and they’d put me right to the back again. It was everything I could do to stay in front of some of those guys. It was fun to run up front there at the end. I wish we could’ve just been faster the whole race.”
Sugarlands Shine 250 Recap:
- Spencer Boyd won the race with Todd Gilliland, Riley Herbst, Brett Moffitt and Stewart Friesen rounding out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured seven cautions for 29 laps and 24 lead changes among 15 drivers.
How Gilliland’s KBM Teammates Fared:
Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra, finished 11th
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra, finished third
NGOTS Championship Standings:
Gilliland remains in the 12th spot in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver points standings after 20 races in the 2019 season.
Todd Gilliland and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team will return on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Martinsville Speedway for the Texas Roadhouse 200. Live coverage of the event begins at 1:30 p.m. EST on FS1.