TALLADEGA – The ARCA racing series took to the racing surface at Talladega Friday evening and it was Todd Gilliland picking up the win over Riley Herbst and his father David Gilliland was on the pit-box and happy.
Many teams ran quietly in the middle to the back of the pack but the action picked up late in the going with Christian Eckes tagging Thad Moffitt as green-flag pitstops began to cycle through. After the restart, the field looked to settle in but the action was slowed once more following a very hard hit from Tommy Vigh Jr. who tagged the inside front stretch wall.
Eckes and Vigh Jr. were fine following their accidents but the rest of the ARCA Menards series race was quiet. Todd Gilliland had the lead following the Vigh Jr. crash and never looked back over the final 21 laps.
The silent Ed Pompa machine also crawled down pit road but was credited with a 21st place finish and his crew had to push him to his stall under caution.
“I was really busy looking in my mirror. As soon as they’d get within one car length of me they’d push me away,” Gilliland said of the final restart. “They could never get too big of a run on me. I thank those back in the shop. At Daytona, we had the fastest car there too but never had a chance to show it. Working with Riley Herbst is a big advantage for us.”
When you see the DGR-Crossley program, a face that was on the box was none other than David Gilliland, Todd’s dad and former NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup driver.
“It’s really special,” David said. “Especially here at Talladega. Todd’s had a little bit of a rough year and to be a part of him winning today is really special. We’re just really proud and really proud to be a part of it. We’ve been really close here a couple of times and placed second to my teammate here one time and that was pretty special. But nothing can compare to this.”
The next time the ARCA Menards series hits the track will be Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee.