DGR-Crosley scored their second consecutive top-five finish of the season yesterday as David Gilliland drove his way to a fourth-place finish in the JEGS 200 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
On Friday afternoon, Gilliland advanced to the final round of qualifying, securing a ninth-place starting position in the 200-mile race at the Monster Mile. When the green flag flew, the No. 54 Frontline Enterprises Toyota maintained that position for several laps before advancing one spot prior to the completion of the 45-lap stage where he went on to finish eighth. After a pit stop for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to fix the tightness in the truck, Gilliland started Stage Two from the 12th position. During Stage Two, the No. 54 Toyota truck was really able to display its speed as Gilliland began knocking trucks off one by one, working his back up to ninth. During the last stage of competition on lap 160, Crew Chief, Kevin "Bono" Manion called for a two-tire stop in hopes of getting Gilliland to the lead, but the plan backfired when the DGR-Crosley team was handed a penalty for an uncontrolled tire during the stop. Restarting 10th after the penalty, Gilliland was able to work his way back up to fourth, earning a top-five finish at Dover International Speedway.
The No. 54 Frontline Enterprises Toyota showed a lot of speed throughout the race, but the fourth-place finish did not come easily as pit road issues and an uncontrolled tire penalty forced Gilliland to work his way through the field multiple times.
"I had a lot of fun out there today," said Gilliland. "We had a really fast Frontline Enterprises Toyota Tundra, but we had a few hiccups on pit road that really set us back and hurt our shot at competing for the win. Those type of things will happen, especially in a young team like we have, but we will work through those issues and continue getting better each weekend. I think we passed more trucks than anybody else today, and we definitely had a lot of speed, so there are many positives to take away and learn from. Overall, I'm happy - it was a really great weekend. I loved getting out there and racing with the kids in the Truck series, they race really hard and make it fun."
Gilliland expressed that there were two important things that happened this weekend: being able to race against his son Todd Gilliland and having the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a DGR-Crosley Toyota Tundra to help evaluate their program.
"It was really special to be out there competing with Todd [Gilliland, son], I've been waiting to do that for quite some time," remarked Gilliland. "He had an issue late in the race, but it was pretty cool when we were out there racing each other. I'm glad that we were able to make that happen. I think it was also an important day for our DGR-Crosley team because I was able to get behind the wheel and see where we are at as team and feel first-hand how the equipment is performing."
The elder Gilliland went on to score a higher finish than his son after the No. 4 truck of T. Gilliland suffered power issues, forcing the young driver to pit with 20 laps remaining in the JEGS 200.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be back in action next weekend at Kansas Speedway (Kansas City, Kan.) where Bo LeMastus will be back behind the wheel of the No. 54 Crosley Brands Toyota Tundra.