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Todd Gilliland Leads Laps at Atlanta

Todd Gilliland had a chance to win his first NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday at Atlanta. (Photo: Joshua White | The Podium Finish)

HAMPTON, Ga. — Todd Gilliland led the most laps of his career at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon during the Ambetter Health 400.

Gilliland started the weekend off with notable speed, qualifying fourth to start the race. His previous best qualifying position at Atlanta was ninth in July of 2023, and his best finish was 15th place.

The Front Row Motorsports driver showed also speed last week at Daytona International Speedway. However, Gilliland was involved in an accident and finished the DAYTONA 500 in 35th place.

Coming into Atlanta this weekend, the 23-year-old only led at total of 27 laps in his young Cup Series career. However, Gilliland quickly showed he wanted to add to that statistic at Atlanta, taking the lead on Lap 64 and leading 57 more throughout the race.

In addition to leading laps, Gilliland also secured a 10th place Stage 1 finish followed by a sixth place Stage 2 finish. Throughout several wrecks in the last stage, Gilliland maintained track position.

Then, the No. 38 team encountered issues when Gilliland made a green flag pit stop on Lap 246 from 16th place due to a wreck on Lap 241 when Chase Briscoe (No. 14) and Denny Hamlin (No. 11) made contact while racing four wide.

“My car was really fast,” Gilliland said. “The Georgia Peanuts Ford Mustang Dark Horse is really fast. We’ve shown that the last couple of weeks. Just the progress from my team. Right at this moment, it definitely feels like a huge missed opportunity. I lost some track position and got caught in the middle and then just got behind that wreck, which ultimately bent a toe kink.”

“I feel like I made a lot of good moves, but obviously the one at the end where it all counts I didn’t. I’ll put the emphasis on a really fast car and my team did an amazing job. I just wish I could have done a little bit better at the end.”

“It felt really good,” Gilliland added. “In my heart, I definitely believe that I can do it with those guys week in and week out. Our car was really fast. I was making really aggressive moves, but really in control the whole time. That’s what it takes is my confidence around me gets better. with every lap also. We’ve just got to keep doing that and hopefully the better runs will come more consistently and race up front with those guys more and more.”

With two notable races for the No. 38 team to kick the 2024 season off, Gilliland could very well be set to have a breakout season in the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse.

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