Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Truck practice report at Kentucky

Leave a comment

FINAL PRACTICE

Ben Rhodes bounded to the top of the speed chart in the final minutes of the final practice session with a lap of 182.834 mph.

He beat Grant Enfinger (181.873 mph) by .151 seconds – nearly a full mile per hour.

Chris Eggleston (181.622), Matt Crafton (181.232) and Brandon Jones (181.190) rounded out the top five.

Noah Gragson appeared to blow an engine during final practice, causing an extended delay for cleanup. NASCAR extended the session to noon (five minutes) as a result. He was fourth on the speed chart at the time with a speed of 180.977 mph. His speed eventually landed seventh on the chart.

Justin Haley – who was fastest in the first session – was unable to back up his speed and posted the 15th fastest lap (180.000) in final practice.

Johnny Sauter had the quickest 10 lap average of 179.411 mph.

Click here for the complete practice report.

FIRST PRACTICE

Haley posted the fastest single lap in the first practice session for the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway with a speed of 182.076 mph.

He beat Stewart Friesen (181.788) by .047 seconds.

Myatt Snider (181.616), Brandon Jones (181.336) and Dalton Sargeant (180.947) rounded out the top five.

Gragson had the quickest 10 lap average of 180.112 mph

Justin Fontaine (176.840) posted the most laps with 33.

Click here for the complete practice report.

Truck Series practice report from Texas Motor Speedway

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Chris Eggleston was fastest in the only Camping World Truck Series practice session Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.

The final practice was cancelled due to weather.

Eggleston posted a top speed of 180.886 mph around the 1.5-mile track. He made 17 laps in the session.

He was followed by Noah Gragson (180.548 mph), Johnny Sauter (180.445), Stewart Friesen (180.313) and Grant Enfinger (179.611).

Spencer Davis, who was 12th fastest, recorded the most laps with 30.

Sauter, Davis and Joe Nemchek were the only drivers to make 10-lap runs.

Click here for the practice report.

Todd Gilliland wins second straight K&N Pro Series West title

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Saturday night saw Todd Gilliland win his second straight K&N Pro Series West title in a big night for Bill McAnally Racing.

The 17-year-old driver clinched the title by finishing second in the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame 150 at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California.

Gilliland placed second to teammate Derek Kraus, who won his first K&N West race after leading 48 of the race’s 150 laps. Riley Herbst completed a sweep of the top three for Bill McAnally Racing.

The son of former Cup Series driver David Gilliland, Todd Gilliland capped off his championship run with his 11th top five in 14 races. He won six races for the second year in a row. Four of his wins this year came in the first five races of the season.

The driver of the No. 16 Toyota needed to finish seventh or better to clinch. His main rival for the title, teammate Chris Eggleston, suffered a flat tire on Lap 65. After undergoing repairs, Eggleston finished 20th, three laps down.

Eggleston finished 28 points back from Gilliland.

“It feels great,” Gilliland said after the race. “All this hard work and dedication these guys put in, and it all comes down to this. To be able to get it done is very special.”

Gilliland’s title comes a month after he lost out on the K&N East title to Harrison Burton by eight points. He’s won 17 K&N races the last two seasons.

Bill McAnally Racing has now won three K&N West titles in a row for the second time. It first accomplished the feat from 1999-2001, when Sean Woodside and Brendan Gaughan (twice) claimed titles.

Kraus, 16, led the final 45 laps and clinched the Rookie of the Year award with his win. He finished the season with nine top fives, including three runner-up finishes.

The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Championship 150 will air at 3:30 p.m. ET on Friday on NBCSN.

 

Track guaranteed to run only through July before it could be demolished

(AP Photo/San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Walt Mancini, File)
3 Comments

Irwindale Event Center, which appeared would be closed after last season, has assurances it can run through at least July, according to a report in the Pasadena Star-News.

The track held its first event of the season last weekend.

The track’s future has been in doubt since a real estate and investment firm purchased the 63-acre site in Oct. 2013. Pasadena, California, officials approved development plans for a  700,000-square foot outlet mall last year. Construction was expected to have begun this month, but that date has been pushed back for at least six months, the newspaper reported.

The Star-News also reported that the track’s contract to operate would continue to renew until the developer secured 65 percent of its tenants.

The track’s schedule includes a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West on March 19. Defending series champion Chris Eggleston won last year’s event. The track also will host NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races.

“We’re very excited about being back for 2016,” Irwindale Event Center President/CEO Jim Cohan said in a statement on the track’s website. “Our fans have been great and very patient, and we hope that they’ll have a wonderful time with all of the exciting motor-entertainment that we’ve got lined up for them this season. And the same goes for all of the competitors and crews that put on the show. They’ve been very understanding and loyal, and we couldn’t have asked for more.”

Todd Gilliland to run full K&N Pro Series West schedule in 2016

(Photo courtesy Todd Gilliland official Twitter account)
Leave a comment

The quick progression of young Todd Gilliland up the racing ladder continues.

The 15-year-old son of NASCAR driver David Gilliland will compete full-time in the K&N Pro Series West in 2016 for six-time and defending series championship team Bill McAnally Racing, it was announced Wednesday.

Gilliland drew a great deal of attention two weeks ago when he won his K&N West debut at Phoenix, making him the youngest winner in series history.

“We finished the year strong, with Chris clinching the championship at Phoenix and Todd scoring the win in his series debut,” team owner Bill McAnally said in a release. “We plan to work hard in the off-season to carry that momentum forward into next season.”

Gilliland is a third-generation competitor in the K&N Series. Father David won the rookie title in 2004 and grandfather Butch won the 1997 series championship.

“Hopefully, I can carry on the family tradition,” the youngest Gilliland said in a team release. As for the 2016 season, he added, “It’s going to be a great learning experience. It will be good to have a championship driver like Chris Eggleston to lean on and learn from, especially early in the season.”

Gilliland will be teammates with defending 2015 K&N West championship driver Chris Eggleston, as well as Riley Herbst.

All three drivers will race the full K&N West schedule, along with select events in the K&N East Series.

Eggleston won the 2015 K&N West championship for BMR in his first full season in the series and will return to defend his title in 2016.

A native of Erie, Colorado, the 26-year-old Eggleston has three wins, 11 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 17 career starts in the K&N Pro Series West.

Much like Gilliland did with his win at Phoenix, Eggleston won his first race with BMR in 2014, leading McAnally to put him in a full-time ride that resulted in the championship in 2015.

Herbst, meanwhile, will make his debut in the K&N West Series in 2016. In 2015, Herbst won the championship in Speed Trucks as a rookie at Irwindale (California) Speedway.

“It’s great to have Chris return to defend his title and to have such talented young drivers as Todd and Riley join the team,” McAnally said. “We have high expectations, based on what we have seen from all three of them.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski