Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Gilliland’s Gamble with Mother Nature Ends in Sixth at Pocono

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

Despite having one of the most dominant cars, Todd Gilliland ended up sixth after Mother Nature ended the ModSpace 150 early. Gilliland’s top-10 at Pocono Raceway was the third ARCA Racing Series event in which he appeared to have a race-winning car but failed to entered victory lane this season.

Gilliland lost the lead on a lap-15 restart to eventual winner Zane Smith. The caution waved before he could reclaim the top position. His DGR-Crosley Group team elected to bring the No. 54 Frontline Enterprises Toyota Camry to pit road.

The NASCAR Next driver restarted outside the top-20 with weather bearing down on the ‘Tricky Triangle.’ Gilliland quickly moved forward, making a pass on the outside, four-wide in turn one. However, he was only able to climb to sixth by the time the skies opened up on lap 31. The race ended two laps later, the series completing 33 of the scheduled 60 laps.

Prior to losing the lead on the lap 15 restart, Gilliland had led from the drop of the green flag. Starting on the outside pole, he made quick work of Elko winner Gus Dean. The potential his Toyota had was clear as he opened up a 1.5-second lead just three laps into the race.

Gilliland took to Twitter to thank his team,

The sixth-place finish was the third top-10 in three starts this season for Gilliland. It is also his fifth top-10 finish in five ARCA races.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year competitor gained extra seat-time in preparation for Saturday’s Gander Outdoors 150 at the 2.5-mile track. Gilliland is currently 13th in the Truck Series Championship Points Standings and needs to win to make it into the Playoffs. He missed four races early in the season due to his age.

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Seth Eggert has followed NASCAR his entire life. Seth is currently pursuing a writing career and is majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is an avid iRacer and video gamer. Seth also tutors students at Mitchell Community College in multiple subjects. He has an Associate's Degree in History.