By David Morgan, Associate Editor
FORT WORTH, Texas – The pressure has been on for the young drivers in the Kyle Busch Motorsports stable in recent weeks, but on Friday afternoon, Todd Gilliland helped take some of that pressure off by putting his KBM Toyota on pole for the SpeedyCash.com 400.
As one of the final trucks to hit the track, Gilliland laid down a lap of 29.227 seconds (184.761 mph) to best Johnny Sauter for the top spot and score his first pole position of the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season.
In three previous starts at Texas, Gilliland has two top-10 finishes, one of which was a heartbreaking loss when he ran out of fuel while leading on the last lap and had to settle for a fourth-place finish instead.
“We’ve had a lot of ups and a lot of downs and lately it’s been a lot of downs,” said Gilliland. “Just to get this pole and a little bit of momentum for my whole team, everybody works so hard and brings our best piece every time we go to the race track. Just to get anything going for them and myself, it means a lot.
“Our work’s definitely not done for today. Hopefully we roll off the first lap of the race and the truck’s really good too. That’s our main focus from now on. Definitely a good time. Great race track here in Texas, one of my favorites.”
Gilliland and Sauter will be joined by Grant Enfinger, Brett Moffitt, Austin Hill, Greg Biffle, Sheldon Creed, Tyler Ankrum, Kyle Benjamin, and Matt Crafton to round out the top-10.
In between the conclusion of Truck Series qualifying and the start of Friday night’s race, the NTT IndyCar Series will hit the track, giving the drivers a different feel from qualifying when the race goes green at 9:00 pm Eastern.
“I still think the track is going to change a little bit, but according to the scoreboard, we’ve got the fastest truck here,” Gilliland added. “That’s a good feeling. I only had one pole last year, so hopefully we can get more and get the momentum rolling. Everything we can take is definitely a positive. Just have to keep working like I said. There’s a lot of adjustments we can take in and out, so hopefully we can fire off lap one of the race really good.”
Other notable drivers in the starting lineup are Gilliland’s teammate Harrison Burton in 11th, Stewart Friesen 14th in a backup truck, Ross Chastain in 15th, and Natalie Decker bringing up the rear of the field in 32nd after slapping the wall during her qualifying run.