Upcoming Events on

RATV white
Full Schedule

Todd Gilliland Defends Pit Crew After Rough Day; Encouraged by Car's Speed at Darlington

Todd Gilliland had a fast car Sunday at Darlington Raceway, and was able to rally from 25th position late in the Goodyear 400 to finish 15th.


hero image for Todd Gilliland Defends Pit Crew After Rough Day; Encouraged by Car's Speed at Darlington

Todd Gilliland and the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports team are in the zone right now in the NASCAR Cup Series. A 15th-place finish in Sunday's Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway marked the 23-year-old driver's fourth top-15 finish in his last six starts.

But had it not been for issues throughout the event on pit road, Gilliland had a car capable of a top-five finish or perhaps even a win. The No. 38 gener8tor Ford Mustang was that good Sunday at Darlington.

"It was really nice. I felt like really all weekend, our car had really good speed," Gilliland said in the garage following the race. "It's just about building on it. Like you said, we didn't have our best day on pit road today at all. Tough to overcome when you're racing the best of the best like that every single lap. I don't know, I felt like my car was definitely in the right direction. And we'll keep working on it."

While Gilliland, who started 15th, worked his way as high as sixth in the running order in the 293-lap event, he lost spots every time he hit pit road on the day, and the final stop of the day was the real back-breaker, which ended his hopes at a top-10 finish as he exited pit road in 25th with just 33 laps remaining.

It was certainly frustrating, but Gilliland refused to throw his pit crew under the bus after the race, and even admitted that he has made plenty of mistakes himself throughout the opening 85 races of his NASCAR Cup Series career.

"Yeah, I mean it's frustrating, but we're a team, ultimately," Gilliland explained. "I've made plenty of mistakes. Lots of bad restarts, all of those things. We'll keep working on it. Like I said, we're all a team. We've got pit practice, and we have a lot to work on, but pit stops are ever-evolving. And you hear a lot of guys complain, and it seems like it's an easy thing to just kind of pick on, but we're all a team and we all could have been a little bit better today."

Gilliland continued, "We're all good. Like I said, we're a team, and we're sticking together to the end. That's all you can do."

Instead of focusing on the negative side of the day, Gilliland was able to find the silver lining, which was the incredible speed in his race car. The driver feels like his team found something on Sunday.

"Yeah, I am excited. I think we've been quite a ways off of [my teammate Michael McDowell] just in general, on the mile-and-a-halfs in general, so it was nice to get close and just battle," Gilliland stated. "We were around a lot of really good cars today. Even for my confidence, right, it's a good thing going forward."

On top of the confidence building that took place on Sunday, Gilliland enjoyed piloting the paint scheme that he ran in the late model ranks on his path to NASCAR for throwback weekend. Carrying the 38G really made the weekend special for Gilliland.

"Yeah, it was cool. Man, I got a lot of donuts and hit the wall a lot just like I did back in late models," Gilliland quipped. "This place is a grind. Holy cow. Yeah, it reminds me of those late model days when I just didn't know what I was doing. I still don't, but it's a lot of good memories."

Following the opening three races of the season, Gilliland found himself outside of the top 30 of the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings, but with his recent string of excellent runs, he has clawed back to 22nd in the championship standings.

The NASCAR Cup Series will head to North Wilkesboro Speedway for the NASCAR All-Star Race this weekend. With the speed Gilliland has shown, there has to be solid confidence that he can work his way into the Main Event for the All-Star Race.

Following All-Star Weekend, Gilliland will look to secure another solid finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Coca-Cola 600. Gilliland scored a 16th-place finish in the sport's longest race during his 2022 rookie season.

Photo Credit: Danny Hansen, NKP for Ford Performance

RA Icon


Sign-up for our free NASCAR & Grassroots racing newsletter...