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NASCAR Truck: Todd Gilliland first time winner at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – OCTOBER 26: Todd Gilliland, driver of the #4 Mobil 1 Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at Martinsville Speedway on October 26, 2019 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Todd Gilliland claimed his first-career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win Saturday in the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, the second-consecutive race won by a driver not in the series playoffs.

Gilliland took the lead from playoff driver Ross Chastain on lap 191 of the race that was scheduled for 200 laps but was extended a lap by an overtime restart following a 12th caution on lap 195.

“I wish we had won two years ago, just like everyone else thought we would,” Gilliland said. “I thought we would, too. We went through some growing pains. (Marcus) Richmond was my crew chief, and we got rid of him, and then, he came back and was helping us, again. He’s really great here at Martinsville. I’m just so proud of these guys. Man, this is a long time coming. Hopefully, this will get some momentum rolling and open up some doors for next year.”

Gilliland maintained his lead through the final restart, and Chastain wound up second, highest among the six playoff drivers. Chastain was the only playoff driver who didn’t seem to struggle at some point in the race.

“If I can go head-to-head with that team, I can fight them one at a time, but I can’t take two of them,” Chastain said after battling both Gilliland and his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Harrison Burton late in the race. “They took turns beating my back bumper off, which is fine. I’m good with it.”

Chastain led 68 laps, taking the lead from Sam Mayer on a lap-122 restart. The lead came just before a multi-truck crash that resulted in a red flag for track cleanup. Three playoff drivers were involved, including Brett Moffitt, Tyler Ankrum and Austin Hill. Moffitt retired from the race after his involvement, as did Mayer. Hill dropped out of the race after a few additional laps, and Ankrum retired after being black-flagged by NASCAR a few laps later for failing to maintain minimum speed. Ankrum was credited with a 25th-place finish. Hill wound up 26th and Moffitt 29th, worst among the playoff drivers.

“We’ll just go on and try to win at Phoenix and Homestead,” Moffitt said.

By that point, another playoff driver, Matt Crafton, was already eight laps down after time on pit road to remedy a power issue during a lap-79 caution. He wound up 23rd at the finish.

Playoff driver Stewart Friesen spun while racing in the top-five on lap 149. He recovered to finish sixth. He and Chastain were the only two playoff drivers inside the top-10 at the checkered flag.

Before getting caught up in the melee, Moffitt and Mayer, who was in his second-career Truck Series race, combined to lead most of the laps. Moffitt took the lead from pole sitter Christian Eckes on lap two and led 80 of the first 81 laps, including taking the first-stage win on lap 50.

Mayer won the second stage at lap 100. Moffitt gave up the lead during the lap-79 caution, moving Grant Enfinger and Mayer to the front row for the restart that followed. Mayer took his first lead in the Truck Series on lap 89. He stayed on the race track through a few more cautions and maintained his lead until Chastain took over in the second half of the race.

Johnny Sauter, Enfinger and Timmy Hill rounded out the top-five. Other top-10 finishers included John Hunter Nemechek in seventh, Jeb Burton eighth, Codie Rohrbaugh in ninth and Sheldon Creed in 10th.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at Martinsville Speedway:

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Posted by on October 26, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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