FRM Bristol Dirt Recap: Gilliland Scores Top-5 Finish, McDowell Shows Skills on Dirt and Heartbreak Strikes Early for Alfredo at Bristol

FRM Bristol Dirt Recap: Gilliland Scores Top-5 Finish, McDowell Shows Skills on Dirt and Heartbreak Strikes Early for Alfredo at Bristol NK Photography Photo
The NASCAR Camping World Truck and Cup Series' took on the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track on Monday afternoon after both Saturday and Sunday's events were postponed due to rain.
 
Todd Gilliland and his No. 38 Speedco Ford F-150 team score a 4th place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event.
 
Michael McDowell and his No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang crossed the finish line in 12th during the NASCAR Cup Series event.
 
Anthony Alfredo and his No. 38 Dude Wipes Ford Mustang sustained heavy damage in an unavoidable on-track incident in Stage 1, to which the No. 38 would not be able to continue and finished 39th.
 
 
Todd Gilliland and his No. 38 Speedco Ford F-150 took the first green flag of Monday's 75-mile NASCAR Truck Series race from the 13th position.
 
In Stage 1, Gilliland noted that he was fighting a tight race truck and needed to be able to turn better through the center of the corners. He would go on to take the first green-white-checkered flag from the 12th position. Under caution, the No. 38 Speedco Ford F-150 pitted for 4 tires and fuel.
 
Halfway through the second Stage, Crew Chief Chris Lawson radioed to Gilliland to say, "keep it up, your lap times are looking good compared to the rest of the guys in the Top-10" and the No. 38 Speedco Ford F-150 would go on to finish Stage 2 in the 6th position. During the Stage 2 Caution, Gilliland told the team that his Ford F-150 was "still getting better; the truck just gets tight through the center (of the corners)" and would pit for 4 tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment.
 
Gilliland would run comfortably inside of the Top-5 throughout the Final Stage of Monday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series dirt race and the No. 38 Speedco Ford F-150 would go on to cross the finish line in 4th place at Bristol Motor Speedway.
 
Gilliland is now ranked 9th in the championship points standing.
 
TODD GILLILAND. NO. 38 SPEEDCO FORD F-150. FINISHED 4.
"It was a solid day for our No. 38 team at Bristol Motor Speedway. We started the race in 13th and finished it in 4th, which I'm still a little bit disappointed with because of how strong our Speedco Ford F-150 was in the Final Stage and I really think that we could have contended for the win if we only had a few more laps. But that's racing; my team made great adjustments on our pit stops to keep up with the track and I'm super proud of everyone at Front Row Motorsports for their work in building this race truck - we need to keep this up! Also, a big thank you to Speedco and Ford Performance for all that they do for our race program."
 
 
Michael McDowell was slated to start Monday's dirt race from the 16th position at Bristol Motor Speedway, however the team noticed an adjustment that needed to be made while warming up their No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang, which forced the No. 34 to start the race from rear of the field.
 
By the end of Stage 1, McDowell had advanced his No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang to 22nd. Under caution he noted, "you can't go anywhere because you can't see ... the car drives fine, I just can't see," referring to the dust that was being stirred up by cars on the track. During the first Stage Break Caution, McDowell would pit for 4 tires, an air pressure adjustment, a spring rubber adjustment and fuel.
 
On Lap 153 of Stage 2, McDowell would be involved in an on-track incident to which he would later tell the team that he had nowhere to go and spun the car around to avoid making contact with the nose of his race car - instead, he made contact with the rear bumper. McDowell's quick thinking ultimately saved the race for the No. 34 team as the damage that was sustained did not hurt the overall handling of their race car and the No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang would go on to finish Stage 2 from the 20th position. During the Stage 2 Caution, McDowell would pit for 4 tires and fuel.
 
Michael McDowell was impressive in the Final Stage of Monday's dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway as the No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang climbed 8 positions in final 50 laps of the race and would go to cross the finish line in 12th.
 
McDowell now has an average finish of 12.3 through the first 7 races of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season.
 
MICHAEL MCDOWELL. NO. 34 LOVE'S TRAVEL STOPS FORD MUSTANG. FINISHED 12.
"It was a fun day at the Bristol (Motor Speedway) dirt race. Our No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang was hooked up at the end and we passed a lot of cars in the Final Stage with 50 laps to go. We ended up 12th, so it was a good points day for us. The visibility was tough and it was really hard to see, but it was some great racing there at the end. Thanks to Love's Travel Stops for coming on board and thank you to all of my guys for bringing such a fast No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang. For a guy that doesn't have much dirt experience, this was a pretty good run."
 
 
Anthony Alfredo took the green flag from the 29th position in Monday's 250-lap event on the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track.
 
On Lap 41 of Stage 1, just as Alfredo was beginning to get a handle on the ever-changing dirt track, an incident occurred in front of him to which the No. 38 Dude Wipes Ford Mustang was unable to avoid. Alfredo's race car would sustain extensive damage that proved to be too much to overcome as Alfredo would be forced to retire his No. 38 Dude Wipes Ford Mustang early and would be listed in 39th at the end of the race.
 
ANTHONY ALFREDO. NO. 38 DUDE WIPES FORD MUSTANG. FINISHED 39.
"I'm really disappointed that our day ended so early. I hate it for Dude Wipes, Front Row Motorsports, Ford Performance and everyone that supports us. I was feeling really optimistic about today - the guys did an awesome job and we had a solid car and I felt like racing on dirt was an opportunity to level the playing field for us to go out there and sneak a solid finish; but there was a huge wreck and I couldn't turn right to avoid it on the dirt. The front tires just slid and went straight and I couldn't drive around it. So, that was really frustrating and it stinks to end the day early, but we'll just take an off-week, a deep breath and go on to Martinsville in a couple of weeks recharged."

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