Timm & Gilliland Top CARS Tour Openers

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Todd Gilliland stands in victory lane after winning the CARS Late Model Stock Tour event Saturday at Southern National Motorsports Park. (Drew Hierwarter Photo)
Todd Gilliland stands in victory lane after winning the CARS Late Model Stock Tour event Saturday at Southern National Motorsports Park. (Drew Hierwarter Photo)

In the CARS Late Model Stock Tour feature, Deac McCaskill started on pole and led a race-high 147 laps, yet didn’t come away with the victory. McCaskill held off several challenges on restarts from Jamey Caudill, Austin McDaniel, Tommy Lemons Jr. and others, and appeared to be in cruise control for the victory until a caution waved with six laps to go.

The real battle took shape in the closing laps as caution after caution opened the door for someone to steal away McCaskill’s grip on victory lane. Todd Gilliland, who rode in the top five all race, was not going to be denied victory. Gilliland used a textbook bump-and-run on McCaskill with three laps to go to snatch the lead from the multi-time Southern National track champion. McCaskill clawed back to attempt a repayment of the favor on Gilliland, but was unable pull it off.

The triumph was Gilliland’s first career Late Model Stock win. Gilliland’s father, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular David Gilliland, was able to make the trip down from Martinsville Speedway in time to see his 14-year old son take the win.

“You just got to stay mentally tough, and my crew chief Chris was coaching me the whole way and told me I could do it, and just keep my tires warm and he was right,” Gilliland said about trying to survive the restarts to move around Tommy Lemons for second. “I had to stay on his [McCaskill’s] bumper and any little mistake he made I had to capitalize, and I used my bumper a little and I got by him. And got by him I guess.”

“Yeah, I was [expecting a bump], and I had to drive it in a little bit harder,” he continued. “But I had to just hit my marks and stay calm,”

Gilliland was trailed to the checkered flag by McCaskill, Myatt Snider, Lemons and last-chance race winner Tyler Ankrum.

The finishes:

Super Late Models: Cole Timm, Christopher Bell, Kyle Grissom, Bubba Pollard, Anderson Bowen, David Garbo Jr., Stephen Nasse, Trevor Noles, Clay Jones, Quin Houff, Steve Wallace, Lucas Ransone, Chris Davidson, Grant Galloway, Kaz Grala, Stephen Leicht, Nick Robinson, Brandon Lynn, Chris Fontaine, Gus Dean, Matt Craig, Kiel Spaulding, Nick Leitz, Clay Rogers, Harrison Burton, Robby Lyons, Brandon Setzer, Zane Smith, Lucas Jones, Brandon Johnson.

Late Model Stocks: Todd Gilliland, Deac McCaskill, Myatt Snider, Tommy Lemons Jr., Tyler Ankrum, Brayton Haws, R.D. Smith, Stacy Compton, Blake Stallings, Michael Fose, Trent Barnes, Matt Waltz, Thomas Beane, Mike Darne, Bradley McCaskill, Chris Hudspeth, Clint King, Christian Eckes, Jamey Caudill, Justin Crider, Jeffrey Oakley, Austin McDaniel, Tyler Dippel, Garrett Campbell, Ryan Wilson, Robert Tyler, Justin Johnson, Payton Ryan, Stacy Puryear, Doug Barnes Jr.