David Gilliland captured the pole position for the Fr8Auctions 250 on Friday at Talladega Superspeedway, setting the stage for Saturday’s critical NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff race.
The Fr8Auctions 250, set for Saturday at noon CDT, is the last race of the first NASCAR Playoff round for the truck series – and will trim the field of championship contenders to six. After three more events, the series will have its “Championship 4” finalized for the season’s last race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
For the eight drivers currently alive in the championship battle, a victory Saturday will award automatic advancement to the next round. But the “wild card” nature of Talladega’s 2.66-mile tri-oval means that in terms of a race victory, virtually everyone is a contender.
And that high-banked reality is personified by Gilliland (No. 51 Pedigree Toyota), racing in the truck series at Talladega for the first time, for Kyle Busch Motorsports. His overall Talladega resume, though, bodes well for Saturday. Gilliland won the pole for the track’s October 2006 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, and started second in April 2007. He also has four top-10 ‘Dega finishes in Monster Energy Series competition.
Gilliland topped qualifying at 180.570 mph. Spencer Gallagher (No. 2 Allegiant Chevrolet) will start alongside on the front row. Gilliland’s son Todd (No. 4 Pedigree Puppy Toyota) will start sixth.
Also Saturday, at 10:05 a.m. CDT, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will have its only practice session. Foodland/Food Giant Qualifying is set for 3:35 p.m. CDT, to establish the starting lineup for the weekend’s main event – Sunday’s 1000Bulbs.com 500.
Saturday night, fans also can enjoy off-track activities. Kids Movie Night will take place in the FOX Sports 1 Dome (located behind the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, just outside the track), with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. CDT. Anyone holding a Sunday ticket will also have access to the traditional Saturday Night Infield Concert presented by Wind Creek Casino and Hotel (6 p.m. CDT), located in the infamous infield at the 2.66-mile venue, featuring country music artist Chris Janson.