Todd Gilliland got past Tyler Ankrum with six laps to go in Saturday’s Toyota Tundra 225 at The Circuit of The Americas and held on for the win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ inaugural race at the 3.41-mile, 20-turn Austin, Texas, road course.
Kaz Grala, driving the No. 02 Chevrolet for Young’s Motorsports, came in second, 7.941 seconds behind the race winner, with Ankrum (GMS Racing), Grant Enfinger (CR7 Motorsports) and Sheldon Creed (GMS Racing) rounding out the top-five finishers.
Gilliland, 21, from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, collected the second Truck Series victory of his career and his first for Front Row Motorsports. Gilliland’s earlier win was in 2019 at Martinsville Speedway for Kyle Busch Motorsports. The victory also bagged Gilliland a bonus from the Triple Truck Challenge Presented by Womply program that pays out $50K to the winner of the race.
Gilliland picked up five playoff points for the race win and another playoff point for a Stage 1 win. Gilliland chased down Grala on the final lap to win Stage 1. However, his crew went over the wall too soon at the stage break, forcing the No. 38 Ford to start from the tail of the field for Stage 2.
Ben Rhodes benefitted from several trucks pitting in front of him before the stage break to pick up the Stage 2 win, his first stage win in 2021.
Also in Stage 2, Zane Smith had a left-rear tire go down on the No. 21 Chevrolet while he was running in the top three. Smith had to limp back to pit road and finished Stage 2 in 34th place. He battled back to finish the race in eighth place.
The Truck Series returns to the track Friday for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), the final race in the Triple Truck Challenge.
Notes: Ankrum won the Cometic Gasket Pole Award. … Tanner Gray (engine change), Ryan Truex (engine change), Lawless Allen (transmission change), Austin Wayne Self (unapproved adjustments) and Chase Purdy (unapproved adjustments) were all sent to the rear of the field before green flag. … The race started under wet conditions, requiring all teams to begin on their wet-weather Goodyear tires.
This story will be updated.