Todd Gilliland dominated the competition in winning the United Site Services 70 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday.
It marked the second win in three races and third career series victory for the 17-year-old driver of the Bill McAnally Racing No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry.
Gilliland took command early and pulled away to win by 7.558 seconds on the 1.058-mile track that is known as the Magic Mile.
“The race went great,” said the Sherrills Ford, North Carolina driver. “We started third and were able to get to second on the initial start. Then on a restart we were able to take the lead. It’s really special to be able to win at this iconic race track.”
Gilliland, a member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights NASCAR’s rising stars, had expressed confidence going into the event that his NAPA Toyota would be a winning car. And once out front, he was content to set the pace.
“At that point, I knew our NAPA Toyota was really, really good and that we just needed to manage it the best we could,” he said.
One concern Gilliland acknowledged was about how the track surface would change on race day, with multiple divisions competing on various tire compounds.
“We didn’t know how it would change today, but luckily we were able to make the right adjustments,” he said.
Gilliland, second in the championship standings, closed to within 14 points of first place. He has two wins, six top-five, and nine top-10 finishes in nine starts this season.
Gilliland finished second in last year’s race at New Hampshire, in one of five starts he made in the K&N East in 2016. This year, he is running the full schedules in the East and West divisions of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. He leads in the standings in the K&N West, where he is shooting for a second straight championship.
BMR provided a VIP experience at the speedway Saturday for special guests of NAPA Maine, along with guests of NGK Spark Plugs and Dorman. The group of visitors, which included winners of a NAPA sales promotion, received a special tour of the garage area with team owner Bill McAnally and met with Gilliland.
This event marked the 62nd visit by the series to NHMS. The race is scheduled to be televised on NBCSN on July 21 at 7 p.m. ET. Because the TV schedule is subject to change, viewers are advised to check the listing with their particular provider.
The next event on the circuit will be the Casey’s General Store 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa on July 28.