By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer
Before Sunday’s In It To Win It 200 from Darlington Raceway, Todd Gilliland held the eighth and final transfer spot in the Camping World Truck Series playoffs.
Now, with one race remaining before elimination begins in the Round of 10, Gilliland has a tad more room to breathe.
Finishing fourth in the 147-lapper, Gilliland now sits sixth on the grid, 11 points above the cut line entering the elimination race next week at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“It was really fun from my point of view,” Gilliland said. “For me [the new Turn 2 pavement] made it a lot more fun to race. You could race side-by-side with a lot more confidence. It really evened out the lanes more from top to bottom.”
After a late crash cost the Front Row Motorsports driver points last time out at Gateway, Darlington was all about keeping clean.
“We really just had an uneventful race,” he said. “A lot of others around us has issues. We just stayed our course and maintained for the first 20 laps. Then, we started picking guys off after that.
“Had OK restarts, OK pit stops. We came home fourth, uneventful.”
The Sunday result was Gilliland’s eighth top five of 2021, continuing to surpass his career-high mark in the category, previously six in 2019. His average finish of 9.4 also surpasses his previous high of 10.6.
“I feel really excited about [cutoff race in Bristol],” he said. “After Gateway, everyone was super disappointed. Just to get back on track feels really good.
“Even a fourth place — we want to be one of the top four guys going to Phoenix for a chance at the championship. We need to get better stage points throughout the race, but really a mistake-free race is No. 1 in everyone’s book.”