Todd Gilliland Relishing Truck Opportunity
With success in the K&N Pro Series, Todd Gilliland has shown he can get the job done behind the wheel. It’s why later on this season, he will get the chance to run some NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
“It’s going to be great because every time you show up to a Camping World Truck Series race you see Kyle Busch Motorsports running up front,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to be a part of, especially walking into their shop and seeing the nice facility. I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for me as everybody over there works super hard on their trucks. Hopefully, we have a couple of good runs.”
Gilliland will make his series debut at Dover International Speedway, followed by Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Phoenix International Raceway. The second-generation racer’s success to date gives him enough confidence to have high expectations.
“I feel we have a good chance to finish in the top-10, perhaps even take advantage of a situation and get a top-five,” he said. “You can never really have too good of expectation. The trucks are a lot different than anything that I’ve ever driven, so it’ll be a big learning curve.”
With Dover not until June, the focus remains on the K&N Pro Series East & West for now. On the East side, he finished eighth in the only race so far this year, while he has scored three straight wins in the west to lead the standings.
“I’m really glad that we’ve been able to come out of the gate really good,” he said. “It shows how good and well-prepared everyone was over there.
Two of those victories came on the same night, with the first ever K&N Pro Series West 100-lap double feature event at Irwindale Speedway.
“I think K&N did a really good job of being prepared for all the challenges that come with having two races in one night,” he said. “I think it was a little rushed, but that’s how it’s going to be, and I think everyone handled it really well. Nothing got too torn up in the first race as everyone, but one car was able to continue into the next race. I think everything went very well.”
Going back and forth, he admits it will be “hard to manage,” but feels he can handle them well with keeping “two different mindsets.”
The success this year with Bill McAnally Racing is a continuation of 2016 for Gilliland, after winning the K&N Pro Series West Championship with six wins and 13 top-10’s in 14 races. The North Carolina native feels he took to the cars easily due to suiting his driving style, of being able to slide around a lot and run side-by-side really hard but clean.
His next race will be Greenville-Pickens Speedway for the second race on the K&N Pro Series East schedule on April 8.
“They just repaved from the center of the corner out to the wall, so it’s going to be about a second faster, so I’m excited to get out there and check it out,” he said.
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