By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
Recently, NASCAR’s has had its history written and records broken by drivers such as Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Jimmie Johnson. This weekend, a 15-year-old driver, Todd Gilliland, has the opportunity to break a 50-year-old record set by Dan Gurney. Gurney is perhaps better known for his open-wheel racing career, where in Formula 1, he earned four wins and 19 podium finishes. Gurney competed in 17 NASCAR races throughout his career.
Dan Gurney won four straight races that he competed in what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series over the course of four years, starting in 1963, and ending in 1966. These races also happened to be combination races in which both the NASCAR Grand National Series (now Sprint Cup Series) and the Pacific Coast Late Model Division (now K&N Pro West Series). Although Gurney competed for Grand National Series points in these races, since it these were combination races, he is credited with a win in both what is now the Sprint Cup Series and the K&N Pro West Series.
All four of these wins by Gurney took place at Riverside Speedway in California. When Gurney won in 1963, he drove for Holman-Moody, in Gurney’s other three wins races, he drove for the famed Wood Brothers Racing Team.
Todd Gilliland, the son of Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland, and grandson of former NASCAR driver Butch Gilliland, is just beginning his career. Todd Gilliland made his NASCAR K&N Pro Series debut last year in impressive fashion, winning in his first ever career start in the series at Phoenix International Raceway at the age of 15. Todd Gilliland went on to repeat that feat in the East Coast tour, at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida. He then went and won at Irwindale Speedway and then Kern County Raceway Park.
So far, Gilliland has not lost a race in NASCAR competition. Gilliland has also broken records and made history in the ARCA Racing Series, where he became the youngest driver in series history at 15 years and two days old when he made his debut at Toledo Speedway. He then won the race, becoming the youngest winner in ARCA history. Gilliland also won in his first career start in the CARS Late Model Tour. This weekend, Gilliland will be piloting the NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry for Mike Curb in The Pitt Lite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Image: Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images