SPOKANE, WA – The rain may have tried, but Todd Gilliland owned the night at Spokane County Raceway.
Starting from pole for the sixth consecutive week, Gilliland went on to lead every one of 150 laps to score his 11th career NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victory as well as his fourth consecutive win.
It was the second straight race the 16-year-old from Ford Sherrills, North Carolina, has led flag-to-flag after a dominating performance last time out at California’s Irwindale Event Center.
His Bill McAnally Racing teammate Derek Kraus was his closest competitor of the night, having multiple runs at the No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota after the first half of the 150-lap feature. Despite the potential, the 15-year-old Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate came home second, tying his best career finish in the series.
Though it didn’t affect Gilliland, the weather had quite the impact on the day’s on-track events. Delaying the start of the race by nearly two hours, the race did not go green until the cars turned 102 laps behind the pace truck as a last ditch effort to dry the racing surface.
Stopping for fuel before the green, it was the Gilliland show from there on.
Behind the reigning champion, however, was some close competition and tough breaks for his competitors. A crash on Lap 14 with Blaine Perkins and Rich DeLong III brought out the race’s first of two red flag periods. The second was due to a puddle of water dropped by one of the safety trucks during the cleanup.
Following the lengthy rain delay, the race didn’t see the checkered flag until well after midnight on the West Coast.
Chris Eggleston came home third with Michael Self and Nicole Behar, who each battled close for those positions, rounding out the top five.
Matt Levin ties his career-best K&N Pro Series West effort in sixth followed by Garret Archer, Owen Riddle, Julia Landauer and Braeden Havens completing the top 10.
The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 from Spokane County Raceway will air on NBCSN Thursday, May 18 at 10 p.m. PT.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will be back in action Saturday, May 20 at California’s Orange Show Speedway with the Orange Show 150. The green flag is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. PT.
-By NASCAR Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com