In the midst of the NASCAR Cup Series’ only off-weekend of the season, Todd Gilliland decided to take the opportunity to come play in the dirt, by virtue of Saturday’s Clean Harbors 150 at Knoxville Raceway.
He’ll likely be very happy with the result, picking up his third victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and his first on the dirt.
Furthermore, the effort by Gilliland, who competed for his father’s organization, David Gilliland Racing, marks the organization’s third career victory, all of which have come from the No. 17 team.
Leading 58 of the race’s 150 laps, the 22-year-old secured the top spot from John Hunter Nemechek with 11 laps remaining in the event, further holding the field back on the race’s final restart, inside the final five laps.
Nemechek would hold on for a runner-up finish, with Zane Smith rounding out the race’s top-three finishers. Ty Majeski and Stewart Friesen both earned top-five finishes, as well.
Derek Kraus, Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger, Tyler Ankrum, and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top-10.
Missing from the top-10 classification is Carson Hocevar, who continued an incredible streak of speed with his Niece Motorsports team, after suffering a broken tibia in a last-lap accident at WWT Raceway.
The Portage, Michigan-native dominated the early portion of the event, leading a race-hihg 65 laps before stopping on track because of an engine issue on Lap 68. Saturday’s event at Knoxville was the third time in the last eight events that Hocevar had led more than 50 laps in an event, but failed to capture the victory.
Leaving Knoxville, there are only three events until the 2022 NCWTS Playoffs, with John Hunter Nemechek, Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, and Chandler Smith locked into a tight battle for the regular season championship, seperated by only 14 points.
The series will reunite with the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series next weekend at Nashville Superspeedway for a tripleheader weekend in the facilities second NASCAR National Series weekend since it returned to a National Series schedule in 2021.