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Automotive

Young Gilliland gets assist from Dad in K&N Series victory

Todd Gilliland won his fourth race of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race of the year when he drove to victory 
lane in the Casey's General Stores 150 at Iowa Speedway on Friday night.
Todd Gilliland won his fourth race of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race of the year when he drove to victory lane in the Casey's General Stores 150 at Iowa Speedway on Friday night.

Todd Gilliland had the car to get to victory lane Friday night in the NASCAR K&N Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway.

But until his father David Gilliland helped him with his approach on restarts, Gilliland didn't have what it took to win.

Fortunately, the youngest listened to Dad, and the assist helped Todd Gilliland overtake Kyle Benjamin on a restart on lap 87, and the teenager did the rest.

Gilliland led the fnal 63 laps and 116 laps in all as he cruised to the victory in the Casey's General Stores 150

"The restarts were pretty big tonight. I didn't do the best on the first couple of restarts, then my dad on the radio told me to be more patient," Todd Gilliland said. "That defintely helped, and it eventually got us back up front."

David Gilliland is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver who recently lost his ride. He was his son's spotter on top of the roof Friday night, and his assistance helped push Todd Gilliland to a fourth win this season.

It also sent his son into the points lead in the NASCAR K&N Series' West standings.

Benjamin took second overall and earned first-place points in the East series. East driver Austin Theriault finished third, while East driver Collin Cabre took fourth and West driver Ryan Partridge ended up fifth.

Partridge entered the weekend as the West Series points leader, but Gilliland now leads the series.

Benajmin had the fastest practice earlier in the day and won the pole for the start. He led the first 26 laps and had a great one-on-one battle with Gilliland most of the way. But once Gilliland made the final pass on lap 87, he pulled away for the easy win.

"Me and the 40 [Kyle Benjamin] had pretty good battles there,” Gilliland said. “It was great racing with him and everyone there. We got away a little bit, before halfway, but we knew we still needed to make adjustments. We make good ones at the halfway break, and I think it showed at the end.”

Benjamin dealt with a flat tire during the mandatory competition caution on lap 75. His No. 40 Ranier Racing Chevrolet team was forced to loosen up the car, but the adjustment wasn't enough.

"He was tough to beat," Benjamin said of Gilliland. "He got around us on top. I was tight behind him and couldn't get the speed at the top that he had. He got away from us.

"I had a flat tire on the halfway break. We had to loosen it up at that point, but we didn't want to. We had to because of the flat tire. That hurt our chances. We just weren't loose enough at the end."

Gilliland's win was the third straight victory for a driver in a NAPA Auto Parts car. Brandon McReynolds drove to victory lane twice last year in a similar looking car.

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