KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Todd Gilliland returned to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Saturday with a bang. In an off week for Cup, Gilliland made a one-off start for his father’s team, David Gilliland Racing, and led 58 laps en route to a victory.
Gilliland won his third career Truck Series race and his first driving for his father.
“Really, really cool,” Gilliland told FS1 after the race. “I love the Truck Series. I ran here forever it felt like. So, to be able to come back and to get one, it’s so special.”
Gilliland originally didn’t have the race on his schedule until his father asked if he would drive the truck on Monday this week.
“I knew he could win here,” David Gilliland told FS1. “Really proud of everyone at DGR. Everyone’s been working really hard. This is truly a team effort.”
Todd Gilliland won his heat race earlier Saturday and started the main event in the ninth position. He quickly rose into the top five and finished Stage 1 in second behind Carson Hocevar, who led all 40 laps.
Hocevar led until Lap 65 when he blew an engine, ending his night. Gilliland took the lead and held it to win Stage 2. He pitted during the stage break and surrendered his lead to Brett Moffitt.
On the ensuing restart, NASCAR deemed Moffitt jumped the start and they black-flagged him with a pit road penalty. Grant Enfinger assumed the lead for 10 laps before Gilliland returned to the lead.
After a caution on Lap 115 for Bryson Mitchell, the race restarted with 28 laps to go and John Hunter Nemechek took the lead. But, with 11 laps to go, Gilliland passed Nemechek back. Jack Wood spun shortly after, setting up a four-lap dash to the finish. Gilliland had a strong restart and pulled away from Nemechek to win the Clean Harbors 150.
Gilliland secured the first Truck win of the season for his father’s team just minutes before Father’s Day on the East Coast.
“I got us some golf tomorrow — some Father’s Day brunch and some golf,” Todd Gilliland said. “This will make tomorrow a lot more fun.”
Nemechek finished second and took the lead in the driver’s points from Ben Rhodes, who finished 10th. Nemechek holds a five-point advantage over Zane Smith for the regular-season championship with three races remaining.
- Zane Smith finished third and recorded his 11th top 10 in 13 races this season.
- Stewart Friesen, a known dirt racer in the northeast, finished fifth.
- Derek Kraus finished sixth and recorded his fourth top 10 of the campaign.
- Ben Rhodes finished 10th after overheating and falling a lap down in Stage 1.
- Buddy Kofoid, a USAC National Midget Series driver, finished 11th in his second NASCAR start.
- Friesen’s wife, Jessica, made a start in the No. 62 Truck but flipped and finished 34th.
- Carson Hocevar finished 35th after his blown engine.
STAGE 1: Carson Hocevar, Todd Gilliland, John Hunter Nemechek, Derek Kraus, Ty Majeski, Grant Enfinger, Chandler Smith, Brett Moffitt, Matt DiBenedetto, Zane Smith.
STAGE 2: Todd Gilliland, Zane Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Brett Moffitt, Derek Kraus, Grant Enfinger, Kaz Grala, Stewart Friesen, Matt Crafton, Tyler Ankrum.
STAGE 3: Todd Gilliland, John Hunter Nemechek, Zane Smith, Ty Majeski, Stewart Friesen, Derek Kraus, Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger, Tyler Ankrum, Ben Rhodes.
Heat 1 Winner: John Hunter Nemechek
Heat 2 Winner: Carson Hocevar
Heat 3 Winner: Hailie Deegan
Heat 4 Winner: Todd Gilliland
The Truck Series concludes an eight-week stretch next weekend with the Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. FS1 will televise the race at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, June 24.