NGOTS: Todd Gilliland Wins Thrilling NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at Martinsville Featured
Todd Gilliland left Martinsville Speedway on Saturday with his first career NASCAR National Series victory in a thrilling finish on the last lap. Gilliland, piloting the No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, started the afternoon 11th and finished stage one in 11th and stage two in 12th.
“It feels amazing. This place is really hard to win at. This Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra is not as pretty as we hoped it would be when we crossed the start-finish line, but man, it looks even better with water and Gatorade on it,” said Gilliland after the race. “Can’t thank JBL, Toyota, all the fans enough. Thank you guys for sitting around. I think that was a good finish. I don’t really know. Luckily we were out front. Just wish we could’ve been a little bit faster all weekend, but as a driver that’s what you always hope for and this thing was fast enough today.”
Jordan Anderson, Gus Dean and Natalie Decker tangled in turn two with four circuits remaining to send the event into NASCAR overtime. Gilliland later held off Ross Chastain on the restart to win the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at the historic track. Chastain, looking to advance into the Round of 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, finished second.
Gilliland will go into ISM Raceway with six top five and 13 top 10 finishes.
“I’d say we didn’t have quite the speed just overall. To start the race, I was really tight. We made one pit stop and made it a lot, a lot better where I could contend for probably top five and then we were in a wreck, knocked the nose in, knocked the whole right-side in,” Gilliland later added. “We were going to stay out, but we decided that the tires were probably rubbed, so we came in and got four fresh tires and made even more adjustments. Man, I think we made our truck a ton better throughout the race, played the pace of the whole race really well. After we got that last set of tires, just picked people off kind of methodically. Forty laps is a long time here. Even at the end when we were up in like fourth or fifth. It was just about controlling it from there and just being smart.”
Chastain will leave the 0.526-mile oval with his ninth top five and 17th top 10 finish of 2019. The driver of the No. 45 CarShield Chevrolet finished stage one in 10th and fourth in stage two and led 68 of the 201 circuits.
Johnny Sauter sat third when the checkered flag waved on Saturday. The Wisconsin native started sixth and led one circuit in his No. 13 Tenda Heal Ford – earning his fourth top five of the season.
Grant Enfinger and Timmy Hill rounded out the top five.
Stewart Friesen, John Hunter Nemechek, Danny Bohn, Jeb Burton and Codie Rohrbaugh took home finishes inside the top 10.
Several NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoff drivers found themselves caught in calamity or technical issues in the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200. Matt Crafton suffered a battery issue that put the No. 88 Menards Ford eight laps down. The two-time champion in the series went on to finish 23rd.
Playoff driver Brett Moffitt, winner of stage one and reigning series champion, led 80 laps before his day ended on lap 122. Moffitt tangled with eight other vehicles in turn two that ended the day for the No. 24 Chevrolet team. Tyler Dippel and Sam Mayer had their days end as a result of the incident.
Johnny Sauter and Stewart Friesen later tangled on lap 150 in turn two. Both drivers continued and later finished third and sixth on the leaderboard.
The series will have another off weekend before they return at ISM Raceway on November 8. The Lucas Oil 150 will air live on FS1 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.