Todd Gilliland Wins Martinsville NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 for 1st Victory
MARTINSVILLE, VA - RIS – Todd Gilliland in the #4 Mobil 1 Toyota survived a wild short track shootout that went into one lap of overtime to win the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 for his first victory in 46 Gander Outdoors Truck Series races. Ross Chastain finished second after a battle for the lead with Harrison Burton and Gilliland on the final restart. On that restart, Chastain and Gilliland fought hard for the lead with Chastain trying to push Gilliland up the track. Burton then got into the back of Chastain’s truck resulting in Burton spinning and Chastain having to regain control of his truck. In the meantime, Gilliland was able to pull away in the race lead. Harrison Burton finished in 18th position.
When the checkered flag flew on lap 201, Johnny Sauter finished third followed by Grant Enfinger in fourth and Timmy Hill in his own truck completed the top five.
Sheldon Creed was the top finishing rookie with a 10th place finish.
Mayhem was present throughout the race. There were 12 cautions for a total of 80 laps that involved several points playoff contenders.
Brett Moffitt (29th place finish after being caught up in a crash that brought out the 6th of 12 cautions) holds a 10 point lead over Stewart Friesen. Both are playoff contenders. Matt Crafton had electrical problems that left him in 23rd finishing position and 8 laps down to the winner. After replacing a battery and an ECU unit and calling back someone to plug in the computer, Crafton was eight laps down after the replacements. He was leading the race at the time his truck stopped on the front stretch. Matt was not a happy camper with his Ilmor engine and had a profanity laced tirade after the debacle. Tyler Ankrum’s truck received damage during a multi-truck pile up that turned into a red flag situation. His #17 was unable to maintain minimum speed after repairs were made and his truck attempted to continue racing. He was black flagged and went to the garage.
Todd Gilliland illustrated the stress of the last two winless season driving for Kyle Busch and having very negative comments from Kyle about his drivers Todd came on the radio to congratulate his crew guys followed by telling Kyle Busch to stay in his motor home. Later, Todd said that was a heat of the moment comment and should probably have just not said anything. Short tracking racing can do that to a person.
Will the heat continue? The next race is November 8th at ISM Raceway which is a track that can create some interesting situations.
Ed Turner - RIS
Staff Writer and editor for RIS since 2001. Been attending NASCAR and stock car races since my dad starting taking me in 1960 at the age of 5.