Coming into race weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, all of the talk was about the PH1 “Track Bite” chemical compound that the track sprayed in the corners in an effort to promote close, side-by-side racing. During Saturday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race, the track could have tried everything they wanted to, but nothing was going to keep Todd Gilliland out of victory lane.
Gilliland, driving for Bill McAnally Racing, beat David Gilliland Racing driver Chase Purdy to the checkered flag by a wide margin in Saturday’s 70-lap feature. Ronnie Bassett Jr. finished third.
“On the first start we were able to get to second and I figured there was going to be at least one more caution,” said Gilliland. “(Purdy) was really fast up front so kudos to them and the whole David Gilliland Racing team to finish one-two. Getting the win here is really special.”
Purdy started from the pole position for the fourth race in a row, but he has been unable to win all four of those races. Clearly disappointed after the race, Purdy said he’s not at all satisfied with second-place.
“I know second sounds good and it is a really solid day, but when you qualify on the pole four races in a row and you have fast cars…it’s just hard. I don’t know. I feel like I maybe gave it up on that restart there, but congrats to them. I kind of feel like Kyle Larson with all of these second-place finishes, but once he got that one it was all over and he’s won a lot since then.”
Gilliland and Purdy are very good friends and consider each other teammates even though Gilliland doesn’t race for DGR in K&N competition. Gilliland said that he and Purdy talk about everything together, whether it’s racing related or not. Keeping Purdy’s confidence up after scoring a bunch of pole positions without getting the race wins is something that Gilliland said they’ll definitely talk about.
“We tell each other everything. We try to help each other as much as we can,” Gilliland explained. “Our teams tell us that we’re here to help each other and no one else. We’re both here to make each other better.”
The next race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will be at the Iowa Speedway on July 28th. The event will be a combination race with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
For an on-demand replay of Saturday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by Spafco Race Cars and Parts, click here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East 70
New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire
|3||04||Ronnie Bassett, Jr.|
|7||6||Ruben Garcia, Jr.|