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Todd Gilliland: Driver, No. 51 PEDIGREEĀ® Toyota Tundra
November 8, 2017

Todd Gilliland: Driver, No. 51 PEDIGREEĀ® Toyota Tundra

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview

Event:  Lucas Oil 150 (Round 22 of 23)
Date:  Nov. 10, 2017
Location:  Phoenix Raceway
Layout:  Mile oval

Three Things You Need to Know

Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 51 PEDIGREE® Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), will make his sixth career start in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition Friday night in the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Raceway. At 17 years of age, Gilliland is a third-generation driver. Last weekend at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California, Gilliland scored his second consecutive NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship. Gilliland scored a second-place finish Saturday to win the 2017 championship by a margin of 29 points.

Driving the No. 46 PEDIGREE® Toyota Tundra for KBM, Gilliland made his Truck Series debut earlier this season at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, where he scored a 20th-place finish after the right-front wheel broke on his Tundra 116 laps into the 200-lap event. Prior to the incident, Gilliland competed among the top-10 and raced as high as second place.

Gilliland finished fifth in his most recent Truck Series race Oct. 28 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. He picked up the top-five result after starting from 13th place. It was Gilliland’s second straight top-five finish in the Truck Series. Driving the No. 51 PEDIGREE® Toyota for KBM Sept. 23 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Gilliland qualified fifth and finished third in what was only his fourth career start in the Truck Series.

Todd Gilliland, Driver Q&A

Congratulations on winning the 2017 NASCAR K&N West Championship. How special is it to make it back-to-back titles in that series?

“I am so grateful to have won the West Series championship for the second time in a row. So much hard work goes into winning a race, let alone a championship. My team and I never gave up – we went out there every race and gave it our all and it paid off. This championship is very special to me and it’s one that I will never forget.”

You finished fifth in your most recent truck series race at Martinsville and finished third the race before that at New Hampshire. That’s quite a run. How much does momentum help you across multiple racing series?

“I think, any time you can race well across multiple series, it gives you a confidence boost. I also think it shows people what my full racing ability is and that I work hard to do the absolute best I can no matter what series I’m running in. I’m really proud of how we’ve run in the past two Truck Series races and I’m excited to give it one more shot this weekend at Phoenix to close out my season.”

This weekend’s race at Phoenix concludes your 2017 Truck Series campaign. What have you learned and how will that help you moving forward? 

“Every time I get in the truck for KBM, I learn something new. This season has taught me so much that will help me in the future for my Truck Series career and my entire racing career. I’m fortunate enough to have the best in the business at KBM. They have taught me so much, from communicating during a race to understanding the truck better. I hope that I can take everything I’ve learned so far this season with me to Phoenix and get my No. 51 Pedigree Tundra to victory lane Friday night.”

About the PEDIGREE® Brand

The PEDIGREE® Brand is the No. 1 brand of dog food and treats in the world, feeding more dogs than any other brand. The PEDIGREE® Brand offers a wide variety of products and formats for dogs at every life stage. The PEDIGREE® Brand is built on an unwavering love for all dogs and a commitment to dog adoption. For more information, visit www.pedigree.com.

The brand launched a new video campaign earlier this year as part of its NASCAR sponsorship featuring PEDIGREE® Pup-letes (What It Takes).

Notes of Interest:

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 Tundra:

  • The No. 51 team has earned two wins (Kansas and Charlotte), six top-five, eight top-10 finishes, 310 laps led and an average finish of 12.3 across 21 races in 2017
  • The team currently ranks fourth with 3,099 points after the second race in the Round of 6 for the 2017 NCWTS Owner’s Playoffs
  • The No. 51 Tundra team has compiled 22 of KBM’s 65 NCWTS victories, the most of any truck number in the team’s stable

KBM NCWTS Program:

  • Holds the NCWTS records for most career wins (65), most wins in a single season (14 in 2014) and most Owner’s championships (five)
  • Erik Jones earned the organization its first-ever NCWTS Driver’s championship in 2015
  • Has collected 65 wins, 36 poles, 158 top-five and 253 top-10 finishes across 415 starts since originating in 2010
  • Ten different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 33. Erik Jones, Williams Byron and Christopher Bell have each collected seven victories, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, Denny Hamlin has produced two victories while Noah Gragson, Daniel Suarez, Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott each collected one triumph
  • Has collected victories at all 21 tracks on the 2017 schedule

KBM NCWTS @ Phoenix International Raceway:

  • KBM drivers have collected five wins, 642 laps led, seven top-five and 11 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.9 across 17 starts at the one-mile track
  • Owner-driver Kyle Busch collected the team’s first win at the track in 2011, Erik Jones earned two victories at the track (2013 & 2014), Brian Scott took the checkered flag in 2012 and Daniel Suarez went to Victory Lane in November 2016

Hillman’s History:

Two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion crew chief Mike Hillman Jr., will be calling the shots for KBM’s No. 51 Toyota Racing team. Hillman Jr., helped Toyota capture its first-ever NASCAR national series championship when he guided Todd Bodine to the Truck Series title in 2006. The duo won 14 races as a pairing from 2006 to 2011 and topped the driver’s standings in NASCAR’s third division again in 2010. Overall in his 10-plus seasons atop the pit box, the New York native’s NCWTS drivers have collected 20 wins and 18 poles.

Hillman Jr., has one win, five top-five and six top-10 finishes in 10 starts as a crew chief in the NCWTS at Phoenix. His win came in 2005 with Todd Bodine.