Gilliland Secures No. 51 Team Spot in Race for NCWTS Owner's Championship

Gilliland Secures No. 51 Team Spot in Race for NCWTS Owner's Championship Getty Images for NASCAR
Todd Gilliland made his first start at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Friday night in the Lucas Oil 150. After the race was stopped for three different red flags, Gilliland crossed the finish line seventh in his No. 51 PEDIGREE® Tundra. His finish secured a spot for KBM's No. 51 team as one of four trucks which will compete for the NCWTS Owner's Championship next weekend at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.
 
Stage One Recap:
  • Gilliland qualified his No. 51 Tundra fifth to start Friday night's race at Phoenix. After he took the green flag, Gilliland settled into the sixth position for most of the stage. When the caution came out to end the 40-lap stage, the No. 51 Tundra was eighth.
 
Stage Two Recap:
  • When the second stage began, crew chief Mike Hillman Jr., called Gilliland to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment. He was ninth for the restart and maintained his position inside the top 10 throughout the stage. After a truck hit the wall with four laps to go in the stage, it ended under caution and Gilliland was scored eighth.
Stage Three Recap:
  • Gilliland began Stage Three with a trip to pit road for four tires and a trackbar adjustment. The rookie restarted 10th, but began to fall back through the field as he battled a tight Tundra. When the caution came out with 28 to go, the No. 51 over-the-wall crew put four fresh tires on the No. 51 Toyota and a chassis adjustment to help fix the tightness.
  • After Gilliland restarted 15th with 21 laps to go, a wreck on the restart led to the first red-flag situation of the night. The 17-year-old took the green flag 10th with 16 laps left, but sustained minor damage to the front of his Tundra in another wreck that led to the second red flag. When the red flag was lifted, Gilliland headed to pit road where the over-the-wall crew made repairs and returned him to the track.
  • After surviving one more wreck that led to a red flag with 10 laps to go, Gilliland crossed the finish line in the seventh potion to earn his third consecutive top-10 finish in what was his final Truck Series start of the season.

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Steven B. Wilson

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