Todd Gilliland wins accident-filled K&N Pro Series race at Bristol
Third-generation driver Todd Gilliland makes it two wins in a row to start the 2018 season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
After winning back-to-back championships in the K&N Pro Series West, Todd Gilliland isn’t slowing down.
Gilliland took the lead on Lap 103 of 150 and survived four late cautions and two red flags to hold off Harrison Burton for his 20th career K&N Pro series win Saturday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and second consecutive in the East division.
Gilliland and Burton also finished first and second in the East season opener at New Smyrna.
“I can’t thank this crew and all the guys enough,” said Gilliland. “This is probably the closest group I’ll ever work with and I’m just happy to get the win.”
The late cautions and multiple restarts worried Gilliland a little but he was able to work through it.
“It’s really nerve racking with the red flags and you have to have a good spotter and crew chief and staying focused,” said Gilliland. “I felt our car was the best after we got going, especially after two laps. (Having) a fast car really kept me focused (on those restarts).”
Burton, who won this event and the East title last season, finished second with pole-sitter Noah Gragson third and Tyler Ankrum fourth. Brandon McReynolds completed the top five.
“We had a good car on long runs and the car wasn’t as good on short runs,” said Burton.
The race was slowed nine times for caution with the final yellow flag given to the field on Lap 136 when a four-car accident brought out the third red flag of the race so track officials could remove debris from the SAFER barriers in Turn 2.
Gilliland led the field to the final restart on Lap 140 and was able to pull away from Burton for his first victory at the .533-mile track.
Tyler Dippel, Spencer Davis, Ronnie Bassett Jr., finished sixth through eighth while 2014 winner Eddie Macdonald was ninth and NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Ruben Garcia Jr. completed the top 10.
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