David Gilliland

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Eight teams going to backup cars for Daytona 500

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DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — NASCAR has confirmed that eight teams will go to a backup car and start at the rear of the Daytona 500 after being damaged in Thursday’s qualifying races.

The eight cars represent 20 percent of the field.

Those going to backup cars are Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Aric Almirola, William Byron, Matt DiBenedetto, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson and David Gilliland.

NASCAR also confirmed that the cars of Keselowski, Almirola, DiBenedetto and Johnson each will go to a backup engine. Since the engine change is due to crash damage, none of those four will have to go to the rear also at Atlanta.

NASCAR has stated that any engine change not related to crash damage would force that car to start at the rear of the Daytona 500 and its next race. That particular rule is only for Daytona Speedweeks.

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Practice results for Truck teams at Daytona

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Daytona Beach, Florida — Johnny Sauter was fastest in the last of three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice sessions for the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

The 2016 Daytona winner posted a top speed of 182.197 mph.

The GMS Racing driver was followed by Clay Greenfield (182.149), Matt Crafton (181.466), Grant Enfinger (181.262) and Stewart Friesen (181.134).

Cody Ware recorded the most laps in the session with nine.

PRACTICE SESSION 2

Ben Rhodes led the way in the second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice with a lap of 192.897 mph.

He was followed by Justin Haley (192.082 mph), Johnny Sauter (191.388), Bryan Dauzat (191.298) and David Gilliland (191.168).

Rhodes and Cody Coughlin each ran 18 laps, most in the session.

PRACTICE SESSION 1

Grant Enfinger posted the fastest lap in the first of three Camping World Truck Series practices Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.

Enfinger is with ThorSport Racing, which switched from Toyota to Ford in the offseason. Enfinger topped the speed chart with a lap of 192.033 mph. He was followed by Johnny Sauter (191.767 mph), Matt Crafton (191.657), Bryan Dauzat (191.440) and John Hunter Nemechek (190.807).

The only incident came when Brett Moffitt spun on the apron at the beginning of the session. He did not hit anything and returned to the track later in the session.

Spencer Davis ran the most laps at 23 in the session.

Daytona Truck Practice 1 results

Daytona Truck Practice 2 Results

Daytona Trucks Practice 3 results

40 cars on preliminary entry list for Daytona 500

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The preliminary entry list for the Daytona 500 has 40 cars and 39 drivers listed.

The entry list, released Thursday, includes the 36 charter teams and four non-charter teams.

Teams without a charter are the No. 62 of Brendan Gaughan, the No. 66 of Mark Thompson, the No. 92 of David Gilliland and the No. 96 of DJ Kennington. If no other non-charter teams enter, then all four of those teams will make the field.

The only team that didn’t have a driver listed was the No. 23 car from BK Racing. UPDATE: BK Racing announced Saturday that Gray Gaulding will drive the car for the Daytona 500.

The Daytona 500 is Feb. 18. Single-car qualifying is Sunday and the qualifying races are Feb. 15.

Click here for preliminary entry list for Daytona 500

Todd Gilliland to drive No. 4 for Kyle Busch Motorsports; father to fill-in at Daytona

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Todd Gilliland will get a helping hand driving Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 Toyota this season before he turns 18 on May 15.

The two-time K&N Pro Series West champion will miss four of the first six races to start the year because of NASCAR’s rule that drivers under 18 years old are restricted to tracks 1.25 miles or less in length or road courses.

Gilliland will miss the season-opener at Daytona (Feb. 16), Atlanta (Feb. 24), Las Vegas (March 2) and Kansas (May 11).

After starts at Martinsville (March 24) and Dover (May 4) to begin his Rookie of the Year campaign, his first race on a 1.5-mile track will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 18.

Team owner Kyle Busch will drive the No. 4 at Atlanta and Kansas.

In a video released by the team on Twitter, it announced that Gilliland’s dad, David Gilliland, will open the season at Daytona.

The former Cup driver will make his first NASCAR start since 2016 in the NextEra Energy Resources 250.

A veteran of 398 national NASCAR races, David Gilliland’s last Truck Series start was in 2015. He has 10 Truck starts. One of those was at a restrictor-plate track (Daytona, 2015).

That’s not the only race the elder Gilliland will try to be part of that weekend.

He will attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500 with Ricky Benton Racing, which has fielded the No. 92 in the Truck Series since 2010.

Gilliland will attempt to qualify the No. 92 Black’s Tire and Auto Service/Carquest Auto Parts Ford into the “Great American Race.” If he’s successful, it will mark the Cup debut for the team.

Gilliland made seven starts for the team in 2015.

“After talking with our partners, we felt the time was right to make a move into the Cup Series,” team owner Ricky Benton said in a press release. “Getting David back on board was also key. Having a veteran driver with his experience and success on restrictor-plate tracks – with whom (crew chief Mike) Hester has familiarity – gives us a leg up as we try to make the race.”
Gilliland has made 16 starts at Daytona in the Cup Series, including seven in the Daytona 500. His best finish was third in the 2011 Daytona 500.
UPDATE: KBM has also announced its crew chief lineup for this season.
Ryan Fugle will be paired with Noah Gragson on the No. 18 truck.
Mike Hillman Jr. will work with Harrison Burton, Busch and other drivers on the No. 51 truck.
Marcus Richmond will be on the No. 4 truck.

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NASCAR America: K&N Pro Series East battle heats up between Todd Gilliland, Harrison Burton

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The championship battle between two young drivers in the NASCAR K&N Series Pro Series East, Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton, is heating up.

Gilliland, 17, is the son of former NASCAR driver David Gilliland, while Burton, 16, is the son of NBC NASCAR analyst and former NASCAR Cup driver Jeff Burton.

Both drivers have won four races apiece this year as the season closes in on the championship race, Sept. 29, at Dover International Speedway. Gilliland leads Burton by eight points.

On Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America, Steve Letarte and Brian Vickers broke down the battle between the two rising stock car stars.

“It gives these drivers a chance to hone their skills, race hard and sharpen their talents leading up to the top series,” Vickers said.

Added the younger Burton, who called in to the show, “(The season finale at Dover) should be huge. That’s a real tough racetrack. It feels like one of the fastest-feeling tracks you’ll go to. It feels like a big roller-coaster.”

Check out the NASCAR America segment about the battle between Gilliland and Burton in the above video.