Todd Gilliland burst onto the racing scene with a win in his first ARCA Racing Series start at Toledo Speedway (OH) a little over a year ago. Gilliland has won seven NASCAR K&N Pro Series races since then, cementing himself as one of the top prospects in racing. But there’s one thing Gilliland has yet to check off the list, and that’s winning a Super Late Model race.
The 16-year-old driver is hoping his first start on the 36-degree banking at Indiana’s Winchester Speedway this weekend will be the place where that first win comes.
“It would be great to win there,” Gilliland told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Even to just get my first win in a Super Late Model would be great. We’ve had quite a bit of success this year, but most of it has been in the K&N Pro Series, but I think it would just be good to add a Super Late Model win to the races this year.”
Super Late Model racing has been the one thing that hasn’t come easy to Gilliland. He hasn’t necessarily struggled outside of not qualifying last year’s Snowball Derby, but the finishes haven’t been what Gilliland is accustomed to getting.
“We haven’t really gotten the finishes that we want, but I think that they’ll come towards this end of the year,” he said. “As we start racing more Super Late Model stuff and the K&N season starts to wind down hopefully you’ll see us up front.”
Gilliland said he has about five or six more Super Late Model races scheduled, beginning with this weekend’s World Stock Car Festival 100 at Winchester. He’ll be racing for two different race teams, his family’s David Gilliland Racing team, and Kyle Busch Motorsports, who he’ll race for this weekend.
KBM won this race one year ago with Christopher Bell, and probably should have won the Winchester 400 a couple months later as well. Now Gilliland gets to pilot the car in KBM’s first race back at Winchester. No pressure, right?
“There’s always a little bit of pressure when you go to the race track with Kyle Busch Motorsports in Super Late Models,” Gilliland admitted. “That’s probably one of the first names people think of with these big races to be competitive. We just have to get there and do what we’ve been trying to do in all of these races which is just make it to the end and then figure out what position you’re in.”
Even with the pressure on Gilliland’s shoulders, Gilliland said he couldn’t be more excited for his first race at Winchester Speedway.
“I’ve been wanting to go there for like three years, ever since I’ve gotten into Late Model racing,” he said. “I’ve seen all the videos of the Super Late Models running around there right by the wall. I can’t wait to get out there.”
Gilliland’s 100-lap ARCA/CRA Super Series race at Winchester Speedway is on Monday, September 5. Race fans can watch Gilliland and the rest of the stars of the ARCA/CRA Super Series live on Speed51 TV by purchasing their live pay-per-view broadcast ticket here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Bruce Nuttleman