Event: Gander Trucks 200 (Race 23 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: Three Segments; 30 laps/30 laps/74 laps
Start/Finish: 11th/8th (Running, completed 134 of 134 laps)
Winner: Austin Hill of Hattori Racing Enterprises (Toyota)
Todd Gilliland and the No. 4 JBL/SiriusXM team finished eighth to close out the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season. On Friday morning, Gilliland was 22nd in NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series first practice and fifth in final practice. Qualifying was rained out and the field was set by the NASCAR rule book.
Gilliland rallied as high as third in the final race of the season, but had trouble on restarts and fought the handling on his Tundra. Ultimately, he was able to rally to an eighth-place finish.
Stage One Recap:
- Qualifying was canceled due to weather, so Gilliland began the race in 11th position.
- During the first stage, Gilliland brushed the wall, and reported that his Tundra was loose.
- At the end of the first stage, Gilliland was 12th.
- Crew chief Wes Ward called him to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel.
Stage Two Recap:
- Gilliland began the second stage in 11th, and was able to climb into the top-10
- He was able to climb to seventh, and then Ward opted for pit strategy and called him to pit road under caution on lap 49 when he said his Tundra was “super loose” in the center of the corner and off.
- They changed four tires and filled the No. 4 with fuel during the stop.
- Following the pit stop, Ward instructed Gilliland to save his tires, so Gilliland completed the stage in 23rd.
Stage Three Recap
- Ward opted for track position and kept Gilliland on the track between stages. The No. 4 JBL/SiriusXM began the final stage in third.
- On the restart, Gilliland reported that his Tundra had lost right front grip and he fell to the bottom of the top-10.
- On lap 98, Ward brought Gilliland to pit road under green flag conditions for the final scheduled pit stop for four tires, fuel and an adjustment.
- During the final segment, Gilliland unfortunately came into contact with an animal and damaged the grille and front end of the No. 4 Tundra.
- Despite the damage, Gilliland crossed the finish line in eighth, earning his 14th top-10 of the 2019 season.
Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 4 JBL/SiriusXM Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
How was your night?
“I felt like I’d always lose spots on the restarts, but that we were really fast on the long runs. There at the end we hit something and it went through the grille and I’m not sure what that did to us. I just want to thank everyone at KBM, Toyota Racing, JBL and Mobil 1 for the last two years. We had some really high highs and some really low lows, but I learned so much and I’m grateful for the whole experience.”
- Austin Hill won the race, followed by Matt Crafton, Christian Eckes, Ross Chastain and Brett Moffitt.
- The race featured three cautions for 14 laps and 12 lead changes among six drivers.
- Matt Crafton won the 2019 Driver’s Championship and Toyota won the 2019 Manufacturer’s Championship.
How Gilliland’s KBM Teammates Fared:
Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra, finished 13th
Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra, finished third
NGOTS Championship Standings:
Gilliland finished the year 11th in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship standings.
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series will open the 2020 season at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 14. Live coverage of the NextEra Energy 250 begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Canadian driver Raphael Lessard will be behind the wheel of the No. 4 Tundra.