Todd Gilliland Captures First Win of his 2021 Camping World Truck Series season at COTA
The inaugural race win at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has been claimed by Front Row Motorsports driver Todd Gilliland. Gilliland, who pulled away to a 7.941-second win, had not one a Truck Series race since 2019 before Saturday’s race. The race started under wet weather conditions, but the entire field contested the race using the wet weather tires they started them on. With worn tires, and increasingly dry conditions, Gilliland held onto the win, the second of his career.
“I definitely did a lot of stuff wrong but that’s what I love about road course racing, there’s 20 turns here, 20 opportunities to pass but also make mistakes. Last year we didn’t quite have the season we knew we could and just to come out here and win early, we’ve been building momentum and for my team to get this win is just amazing,” Gilliland explained after the race.
Not All Fun and Games For Gilliland!
It was not all smooth sailing for Gilliland his Front Row Motorsports team on Saturday. After Gilliland claimed the checkered flag for winning stage one, the team pitted the No. 38 Ford for fuel. However, NASCAR determined that one his pit crew members came over the wall too soon during the stop. This relegated him to the back of the field for the restart to begin stage two. This gave Sheldon Creed the lead, who led until the closing laps of stage two. The checkered flag ending stage two was captured by Ben Rhodes, the first of his 2021 season. Gilliland methodically worked his way to the front of the field, as teammates Tyler Ankrum and Sheldon Creed battled back and forth for the top spot. In the end, it was Gilliland who would pass both of them, securing the victory.
Kaz Grala finished in second place, while pole sitter Tyler Ankrum finished close behind him in third. Grand Enfinger and Sheldon Creed rounded out the top five, finishing fourth and fifth. Creed led a race high 14 of the 41 laps, but could not close the deal on a win. Seventeen year old Sam Mayer finished in sixth position, while rookie Carson Hocevar finished in seventh. Zane Smith, Austin Hill and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top ten, finishing eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.
What’s Next for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series?
The next round of the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes place May 28th at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fans can catch all the action of the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
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