MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Todd Gilliland survived an unpredictable race filled with twists and turns to claim his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory in 46 starts. It is his sixth top five and 13th top-10 finish this season.
The Kyle Busch Motorsports driver led the last 11 laps of the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 and held off a hard-charging Ross Chastain in an overtime drive to victory lane.
Gilliland described his emotions after the win.
“It feels amazing,” he said. “This place is really hard to win at. This Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra is not as pretty as we hoped it would be when we crossed the start-finish line, but man, it looks even better with water and Gatorade on it. Can’t thank JBL, Toyota, and all the fans enough. Thank you guys for sticking around. I think that was a good finish.”
He was also asked about a comment he made on the team radio concerning team owner Kyle Busch, saying Busch could “stay in his (expletive) motorhome.”
The remark was made in reference to remarks made by Busch earlier this year that indicated he was not pleased with Gilliland’s overall performance, telling him, “You have got to get up on top of the wheel and make it happen.”
Gilliland posted an apology to Busch on Twitter Saturday night
“Like I’ve said before we should have won by now and it just hasn’t happened. I want to apologize to Kyle Busch for what I said after the race. My emotions got the best of me obviously and a lot went through my head as I took the checkered. Two more wins to chase.”
Ross Chastain finished second for his 17th top-10 of 2019 followed by Johnny Sauter in third, Grant Enfinger in fourth and Timmy Hill who rounded out the top five. It was Hill’s first top five in any of NASCAR’s top three series. Stewart Friesen, Jeb Burton, John Hunter Nemechek, Codie Rohrbaugh and Sheldon Creed placed sixth-10th, respectively.
While Gilliland celebrated, it was a tumultuous race for many of the competitors including most of the Playoff drivers. There were 12 cautions for a total of 80 laps.
Current points leader Brett Moffitt was involved in an accident on Lap 155 and his No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet was severely damaged. He was unable to finish the race and after completing only 122 laps, finished 29th. Moffitt currently has a 45-point margin over Matt Crafton who is fifth in the standings. Crafton had mechanical issues and finished a disappointing 23rd.
An accident on Lap 123 involved nine drivers including playoff drivers, Austin Hill (currently fourth) and Tyler Ankrum (sixth). Ankrum finished 25th followed by Hill in 26th.
The Truck Series heads to ISM Raceway for the Lucas Oil 150 on Nov. 8. The race will determine the four drivers who will contend for the series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
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