Gilliland Finishes Fourth in First Career Start at Iowa Speedway
David Gilliland earned a fourth-place finish in the M&M's 200 at Iowa Speedway over the weekend in his first attempt at the .875-mile track in Newton, Iowa.
The No. 54 Crosley Brands team struggled early on, ranking 24th on speed during practice on Saturday morning. The team made major changes to the setup before qualifying and saw improvements in the speed and balance of the truck. Gilliland advanced through two rounds of qualifying before securing a 12th-place starting position in Saturday night's 200 lap race.
When the green flag flew, Gilliland was able to maintain his position and ran near the top-10 for the first 60 laps. He just missed earning playoff points in Stage 1 with a 12th-place finish. Gilliland pitted for tires, fuel and adjustments to work on the tightness of his truck on lap 64. He restarted Stage 2 from the 15th position and slowly began working his way through the field. By the conclusion of Stage 2, Gilliland had driven the No. 54 Toyota into the top-10, scoring a ninth-place finish after the first 120 laps of racing. Staying out under the stage-ending caution, Gilliland restarted fourth but was battling for the lead by lap 144. The battle continued for several laps, but he could never get around the eventual race winner Brett Moffitt for the lead. After a long green flag run to end the M&M's 200, Gilliland held on to fourth, scoring his second fourth-place finish in both of his races with DGR-Crosley this season.
"I'm really proud of our DGR-Crosley team," Gilliland said after the race. "We really struggled in practice earlier today. We brought a different truck to the track this weekend, and we just missed it on the initial setup. The guys worked hard and made some great changes to the Crosley Brands Toyota before qualifying. We started the race off pretty tight and on the splitter, but Bono [Kevin Manion, Crew Chief] made it better for me every time we pitted, and we continued to improve throughout the race. Can't thank my guys enough for all the hard work they put into this truck today. This was my first time ever racing here [Iowa Speedway] and it was a lot of fun. Overall, it was a great day for our team."
The No. 54 Toyota Tundra will be back in action on Saturday, June 23, at Gateway Speedway in Madison, Ill.