Toyota Racing Post-Qualifying Notes
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
Talladega Superspeedway – October 12, 2018
TOYOTA STARTING POSITIONS
1st, DAVID GILLILAND
2nd, Spencer Gallagher*
3rd, Timothy Peters*
4th, Grant Enfinger*
5th, Johnny Sauter*
6th, TODD GILLILAND
8th, BRETT MOFFITT
12th, BO LEMASTUS
13th, NOAH GRAGSON
15th, KORBIN FORRISTER
25th, SCOTT LAGASSE JR.
DAVID GILLILAND, No. 51 Pedigree Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Qualifying Position: 1st
What’s it going to take to get to Victory Lane?
“I have to thank Pedigree and all the folks at Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development). We have a really fast Toyota Tundra here. Pedigree is making this all happen. Letting me race with my son (Todd Gilliland) on his first superspeedway race is absolutely incredible. It’s the most meaningful race I’ve ever raced in. Here we are on the pole. We rescued this guy (dog) from the Birmingham Humane Society. Everyone should go to the Pedigree Foundation and help rescue some of these dogs. There is all kinds of puppies that need good homes. We were there yesterday and we’re taking one home. An awesome weekend already and we’re going to be starting where you want to. At Daytona, we were close. We ran up front and won a stage. We just came up a bit short. We have to finish it off. We need to get that checkered flag this weekend.”
Tell us about the dog you have here with you.
“Winston (dog) is a sweetheart. The Pedigree Foundation we did an appearance with yesterday at the Birmingham Humane Society. We got to see a lot of dogs and cats who need to be rescued. My family went and we rescued Winston from there. A very special day. What Pedigree has done is really special. We had to bring him home. He matches the truck my son is racing this weekend. Very special weekend and one we’ll remember forever with Winston and being able to race with my son Todd on his superspeedway debut is super special. I can’t thank Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota and Pedigree for the opportunity.”
Is restrictor-plate racing like riding a bike for a veteran like you?
“I enjoy it. It seems like people either love coming here or hate it. I love it. I don’t know if that’s why we seem to run better but I enjoy it. To be out there on the track with Todd for his first time. We’ve been watching races and going over video the last few weeks. To be able to try to help him and be there with him is super special. To be in a truck that looks like his is even more special for me.”
Would NASCAR clear you to take this dog with you around the track?
“I don’t think he’s ready for that yet. We have him on the quarter panel. Todd and I both do. I think that’s as close as we’ll get.”
What’s it been like playing all of the roles you’re playing this weekend?
“It’s been busy. Bo LeMastus is driving our DGR-Crosley truck. Going back and forth, I am helping him. We work on the pull down all week and tried to get that thing as much speed as possible. Then working with Todd. He went out with his first pack today. We went back and forth, and I answered his questions. It’s been a busy weekend. It’s been fun. It’s one I will remember forever.”
DAVID GILLILAND, No. 51 Pedigree Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports (continued)
Do you push Todd to win tomorrow or do you help him if the situation presents itself?
“I don’t know. At first, I thought it would be really cool to help him win. Every interview he’s done, though, he says he’s going to dump me and do everything he can to win. I don’t know. I might have to rethink that. If it can be our two Tundra’s going for the win, that will be a win.”
How many teams is DGR-Crosley going to have next year?
“More than we had this year for sure. I’m really excited and we’re working on more announcements. Our DGR-Crosley team is growing very, very quickly. We just acquired another 30,000 square feet on the building next door to expand next year. I’m really excited and I love NASCAR. NASCAR is all I’ve ever done – my Dad raced, myself and now my son. I’m really excited to get out here and drive, but I’m excited to be on the ownership side too. In the K&N Series this year, we got first and second in the owner’s championships, which was a huge accomplishment and next year I feel very confident that we’re going to be running for a Truck championship too. Hopefully, we can announce the rest of that soon.”
What has been the biggest difference between the driver and owner side?
“The bills. Lots of bills, but it’s been a lot of fun. On the driver’s side, normally you get a check and on the owner’s side, you have to write a lot of checks. Probably the most surprising thing is the tire bill. We’ve spent a lot of money in tires over all these series, but Goodyear provides a good tire and obviously, they’re worth it. Just chasing partners, new partners and sponsors and all that stuff that it takes to be a successful race team and have the resources that it takes to come out here and be as competitive as a team as we want to be. It’s tough, but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but it’s a good challenge.”
How familiar are you with NASCAR combining all of the touring series and ARCA?
“I think it’s good. I’m not 100 percent familiar with it, but I was at the owner’s meeting they had about it in Dover and I think it’s going to be really good for the series. I think ARCA needs more cars and K&N needs more cars. They’re both on radial tires now, which has been really good for both series and I think combining them is going to be good. There’s still some details they need to work out, but I think in the long term it’s going to be really good. We have ARCA cars and K&N cars under DGR-Crosley so I feel really good about it and I think it’s going to be a great step for these young kids coming up to give them the experience they need to develop them and for them to be able to come and run in the Truck Series at the level they need to.”
If you got the opportunity to run full-time again in NASCAR’s national series, would you?
“I don’t know. That’s a tough one. I like owning the team and stuff and I’ve enjoyed racing this year. Racing with my son has been very special, but I enjoy helping him too and being on the radio and helping him. Something I’ve done over the last couple of years that I’ve enjoyed. Not only him, but all the young drivers coming through our program. Our program at DGR-Crosley, we try to work really hard to make it different and everybody says we want our program to be different, but to truly develop these young drivers and help them and to do that I can’t race and do that properly. If I do that, it’s going to take away from what we’re trying to do with our team so probably not.”
TODD GILLILAND, No. 4 Pedigree Puppy Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Qualifying Position: 6th
Are you looking forward to your first superspeedway race?
“I’m super excited about getting introduced to a new type of racing. I feel like my Kyle Busch Motorsports guys brought me a really fast Toyota Tundra this weekend, just like always. Ended up sixth in qualifying, but we’re looking for a few spots better in the race, but that’s a good spot to learn from with some veterans around me. Hopefully, use what I learn and beat them at the end.”
Do you expect to race near your Dad for much of the race if possible?
“Hopefully we’re up front the whole time. That’s the biggest thing in practice – when he (David Gilliland) was behind us, he was going to stick with me. Better or worse, that will be different in the race, but we’re both here to win. We’re going to do what’s best for both of us, but also it will be nice to have someone you trust out there.”
NOAH GRAGSON, No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
Qualifying Position: 13th
Are you concerned about the starting position?
“I don’t know. I am going back and forth since I got out of my Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra. I thought we were going to be about 8-11th. I was watching the guys and saw the No. 18 go further down. We’ll be all right. I was talking to my crew chief Rudy Fugle and he told me sometimes the slower ones suck up the best, yet they’re the best in the draft. We have to go into tomorrow optimistic. I am very grateful to be out here at Talladega. We have one goal, and that’s to points-race our way into the next round.”