The Truck Series was back in action at Martinsville Speedway for the Round of 6. The Hall of Fame 200 saw many accidents and was quite possibly the most action-packed race since its season opener at Daytona back in February. While there were many drivers had a solid day, rebounded from troubles, race fans were left frustrated at the telecast missing the final two laps of Todd Gilliland’s first career win.
Here are four takeaways from the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at Martinsville Speedway.
- Gilliland Breaks Through -It was a long time coming for Todd Gilliland who has faced some criticism from team owner Kyle Busch throughout the season. 2019 has not been too kind to the youngster. Gilliland, so far this season, has collected six top fives and 13 top-10 finishes along with three DNFs. The win is an important victory in his career considering that Gilliland does not have anything for 2020. Hopefully, this win will boost some confidence in him and just might turn some heads in the garage area.
- Playoff Drivers Find Trouble at Martinsville – Several Playoff drivers found themselves in trouble following the playoff race at Martinsville with some of them collected in at least one incident throughout the afternoon. Brett Moffitt had the dominating truck, leading 84 laps, winning Stage 1 and finishing seventh in both stages before getting collected in a wreck on Lap 124, leaving him with a disappointing 29th place finish. Stewart Friesen was also involved in a wreck on Lap 150 off Turn 4 after a bump from behind which sent him spinning though, the Halmar driver rebounded to a sixth-place finish. Matt Crafton also had his share of troubles with engine issues. A 23rd place finish left the California native disappointed and frustrated following Martinsville. Rookie Tyler Ankrum saw himself involved in the same incident as Moffitt and sends him heading into Phoenix in a must-win situation.
- TV Coverage – Race fans and many people in the NASCAR community were left frustrated Saturday afternoon when the Fox Sports 1 feed cut off toward the very end of the race fans were only able to hear the audio as the race finished. Once the race ended the feed came back on and switched to another game event and we did not get to experience the excitement of Gilliland’s first career win. It was one of the worst things imaginable for Gilliland who has been trying so hard to get that win. I for one, have been frustrated with Fox Sports 1 coverage of the Truck Series in 2019. The coverage has not been the best and at times, we have missed restarts and cautions that take place during commercials. I understand the need for commercial breaks but after this Saturday, it could be the line for many race fans that might call it quits when it comes to watching Truck Series races on Fox Sports 1. Imagine if this happened in the championship race or in the final four races of the Cup season? Hopefully, whatever happened will not ever happen again.
- Small Teams Shine in Top 10 – Like Talladega, Martinsville is known to have some surprise finishes for the small underdog teams who call the track an equalizer. First, Timmy Hill brought home his No. 56 Hill Motorsports team truck to a fifth place finish, the best of the team’s career. NASCAR Whelen Modified driver, Danny Bohn, finished eighth in his first ever Truck Series race, competing in the No. 30 On Point Motorsports entry, not too bad in your first career Truck Series race but it might be expected when Bohn competes in the Modified tour on a couple of short tracks. Finally, Codie Rohrbaugh earned himself a career-best finish of 10th for his own No. 9 team. It’s his best finish in over 10 races of Rohrbaugh’s career where his previous best finish was 14th at Kentucky earlier this year.