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Apr 10, 2014 - 05:55 PM
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Todd Gilliland Fires Up First Full Stock-Car Season
Posted by: newsla on Apr 10, 2014 - 05:54 PM
Todd Gilliland Fires Up First Full Stock-Car Season

After announcing his arrival in the late-model world by clinching two top-10 finishes in three races last fall, 13-year-old Todd Gilliland will kick off his first full stock-car racing season Friday at Ace Speedway.


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The son of Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland will enter his No. 98 Ford in the LMSC division event during Opening Night at Ace Speedway, a 4/10-mile track in Altamahaw, N.C. The younger Gilliland will be led by new crew chief Chris Lawson, who led driver Ronnie Bassett Jr. to numerous late-model wins in various series over the past three years.

Gilliland, an eighth-grader at Mill Creek Middle School in Claremont, N.C., plans to run 20 to 25 races on the East coast this year in late-model and straight-rail stock cars.

"I'm just really excited to go racing again," Gilliland said. "I had a lot of fun in the races I did last year and did pretty well, so I just want to keep doing more and more. My dad has helped me a lot but I know I still have a lot to learn."

Gilliland advanced to racing stock cars after winning the 2013 USAC World Formula National Quarter Midget Championship, winning races across the country from California to North Carolina. In November, he came within two car lengths of earning a win in just his third race in a stock car, finishing second in the Southeast Limited Late Models event at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway.

The teen is the third generation of Gilliland racers, following his father, David, and grandfather, Butch, who also competed in the Sprint Cup Series.

"I'm extremely proud of how quickly he's picked things up," said David Gilliland. "I wish I had been as good of a student when my dad was teaching me when I was that age. Everybody has just been really impressed with him."

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