Todd Gilliland and Mobil 1 Team Earn Pole at Texas, Contend for Win, Before Heartbreak in Turn Two

Todd Gilliland and Mobil 1 Team Earn Pole at Texas, Contend for Win, Before Heartbreak in Turn Two NK Photography Photo
Todd Gilliland and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team won the pole for the SpeedyCash.com 400 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and led twice for a total of 31 laps before falling prey to treacherous track conditions while battling for the lead and finishing 27th. The young driver posted the 12th, fifth, and sixth-fastest laps in three practices respectively on Thursday. Friday afternoon, Gilliland earned his second-career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series pole in one round of single-vehicle qualifying.
 
Under the lights, Gilliland quickly jumped to the lead and led the first five laps before dropping to second place. He remained at the front of the field, leading for a second time in Stage 2 for 26 additional laps before losing control on a restart and making contact with the wall, ending his night.
 
Stage One Recap:
  • In one round of single-truck qualifying, Gilliland put his No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra on the pole with a lap of 29.227 seconds and 184.761 mph.
  • When the green flag flew, Gilliland pulled out to the lead, which he retained for the first five laps.
  • Interim crew chief Wes Ward brought Gilliland to pit road with 12 laps to go in the stage for four tires and fuel.
  • After restarting in 20th position after his pit stop, Gilliland gained eight spots in two laps before the next caution flag flew.
  • Gilliland finished the first stage in the sixth position after restarting with two laps to go in the ninth position, earning five stage points.
Stage Two Recap:
  • Gilliland began the second stage in the lead, after Ward opted not to pit between stages.
  • The talented teenager hung on to the lead for 26 laps and several restarts.
  • Then, on lap 69, Gilliland was just one of many drivers to succumb to a treacherous Turn 2, losing control while in a fierce battle for the lead.
  • The young driver was unable to continue and ultimately finished in 27th, in a race marred by a record 13 cautions for a total of 63 laps.

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Steven B. Wilson

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