Luck Runs Out For Todd Gilliland and the No. 4 JBL Tundra Team in the Irish Hills
Todd Gilliland and the No. 4 JBL team had a top-five run spoiled by a late-race accident at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday. In two NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series practice sessions on Friday, Gilliland posted the 10th-fastest lap in the first practice and was 16th-fastest in final practice. In one round of single-truck qualifying on Saturday morning, Gilliland earned the fourth starting spot for the Corrigan Oil 200.
Saturday afternoon, entering the race in a must-win situation for the NASCAR Playoffs, Gilliland was strong through Stages One and Two, despite a penalty after the first pit stop. In the third stage, he led for 14 laps. With two laps remaining in the scheduled distance, Gilliland was poised to make a final run for the win when he was caught up in a multi-truck wreck and forced to retire from the race.
Stage One Recap:
- On Saturday morning, in one lap of single-truck qualifying, Gilliland qualified the No. 4 JBL Toyota Tundra in the fourth position.
- As the green flag flew on Saturday afternoon, Gilliland jumped into the second position.
- The driver expressed that his Tundra was tight, but he finished the first stage in fifth.
- Following the first stage, crew chief Wes Ward brought the No. 4 JBL Tundra to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
Stage Two Recap:
- Gilliland began the second 20-lap stage in 13th, after receiving a penalty on the first pit stop for a crew member over the wall too soon.
- The young driver steadily climbed back into the top-10, and finished the second stage in eighth, reporting that his truck was much better.
- Ward opted for a fuel-only pit stop following the second stage.
Stage Three Recap
- The teenage driver began the final stage in the sixth position.
- On lap 62, Gilliland powered the No. 4 JBL Tundra to the lead and he continued to lead until lap 75 when he was shuffled out of the front of the pack.
- Ward brought the young driver to pit road for left side tires under a caution flag with 13 to go in the final stage, in hopes of helping the handling. Gilliland would restart in 17th.
- With two laps to go in the scheduled distance, Gilliland was working his way back toward the front of the pack, and had made it as high as seventh when he was collected in a multi-vehicle incident, effectively ending his day and his playoff hopes.
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