While he didn’t qualify for Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, David Gilliland wound up being part of something even more thrilling and valuable.
Gilliland and his family were on hand Sunday afternoon when 15-year-old Todd Gilliland won his first career start in the ARCA Series.
The younger Gilliland became the youngest winner in ARCA history, with his win coming just two days after he turned 15, and four weeks after his first career Late Model win.
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David Gilliland’s son Todd, 15, wins ARCA debut at Toledo
Todd Gilliland, the 14-year-old son of NASCAR driver David Gilliland, earned his first career Late Model win Saturday night at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, N.C., southeast of Raleigh.
Gilliland took the checkered flag on the 0.4-mile asphalt track in dramatic fashion, passing veteran driver Deac McCaskill with two laps to go in the 150-lap race.
“That was a battle those last few laps to get past him, but I just had to stay mentally tough,” said Gilliland in a release from the team. “My crew chief, Chris Lawson, was coaching me through it the whole way.
“I just stayed on his bumper, and then I had to use my bumper a little bit, but I got by him. It feels great to get my first Late Model win.”
It’s actually the second career win for the Sherrills Ford, N.C. resident. He won his first race last May in a lower-horsepower Limited Late Model race at Ace Speedway in Altamaha, N.C.
“I couldn’t be prouder of him,” said David Gilliland, who will make his 300th career Sprint Cup start at Martinsville Speedway Sunday afternoon. “He’s a great young man and a great race car driver.
“I think he proved a lot tonight. I’m so glad I was racing in Martinsville this weekend so I could drive down to see this race.”
Todd Gilliland qualified third for the X-1R Performance Products 300, the inaugural race for the new Championship Auto Racing Series (CARS) Late Model Stock Tour.