Toyota Racing –Todd Gilliland
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Quotes
AVONDALE, Az. (November 8, 2019) – Tundra driver Todd Gilliland was made available to media at ISM Raceway:
TODD GILLILAND, No. 17 JBL/SiriusXM Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports
How was your truck in final practice?
“Just being a winner in the Truck Series makes it way easier to come back to the track. When you’ve done it once, I won’t say you belong, but somewhere along those lines. You can come out and compete week in and week out. We still haven’t had the speed or consistency to do that, but after a win a lot of good attitudes in the shop and hopefully more momentum going to the race track. Our practices today went okay. I think we’re ninth in the first one and sixth in the second one. Still lacking a litlte bit of grip in the truck and speed along with that. We’re kind of close, but still not exactly where we need to be.”
Have you had any further conversation with Kyle Busch after your radio comment in Martinsville?
“No, I just talked to him on the phone the middle of last week. Got everything smoothed out and just happy to be back at the race track.”
Do you feel you’re on the same page as Kyle Busch and things are behind you now?
“I feel like obviously he wasn’t happy. I wouldn’t be either, but at the same time a part of him understood just the frustration and I’m sure he didn’t want me to be back here, but luckily we talked things out and I’m happy to still be in this No. 4 JBL Toyota Tundra.”
Do you have some plans for next season?
“We have a couple different things. We’re hoping to have things locked down pretty soon to be able to announce. Right now we’re just staying focused on what’s in front of us. We’ll take it one week at a time and be the best race car driver I can be.”
Did you feel relief after your win in Martinsville?
“I’d say a little bit. Just as I crossed the start-finish line, I felt relief. Afterwards you just feel like you belong. It’s something I was really lucky to be able to do was win early in the ARCA Series in my first race and then my first race here at Phoenix in the K&N Series, just makes things so much easier. Puts you in the talks every single week. Just being a winner in every series makes things easier.”
Why do they call Phoenix a driver’s track?
“I don’t know. I guess with the dogleg, you can cut down through there. Brings some excitement into your lap. The new one and two, there’s a lot of different lanes you can run, restarts people have been really low, lower than ever and now there’s PJ1 on the very top. Hopefully that opens up a couple more grooves of racing. Three and four is pretty much one lane, but we’ll see if things open up.”
Does it help to know you have your father’s team to fall back on next season?
“I wouldn’t even really call it falling back on, I think it’s always a good option. He’s always been there for me and at this point, they’ve built a really good race team. That’s always something to look at, but there’s a bunch of other really great race teams out there. Just always have to keep your options open. Just try to get the best results possible.”
Do you see your father’s team looking to expand beyond the Truck Series?
“I think he’s crazy and I think he would do anything he could get his hands on. He has five trucks here this weekend and a K&N car. That’s literally everyone in the shop. It’s pretty cool to see how fast they are growing, but you also see sometimes that people get ahead of themselves. I’m hoping that’s not the case with them. It’s really cool the people they’ve brought in and brought together to be able to expand and be competitive at this level so far.”
Are you surprised Harrison Burton and Riley Herbst are moving to the NASCAR Xfinity Series?
“I don’t really think it’s too rushed or too slow. I think everyone has their own pace that you can see them progressing more and more. Even looking back at last year, having to miss the first couple of races I think I could have learned more rather than just focusing solely on the results. I think those are things you just live and learn by. It’s a great opportunity for both of them and I think they’ll be successful.”
Is there some value in standing up for yourself?
“There’s definitely a fine line just by flying under the radar. I think it was going to be best to just block everything out and not say anything at all. Then people can question you passion for it if you don’t say anything and you keep getting beat down and on paper your results don’t get any better and then people say you weren’t trying and didn’t really care about it. That’s definitely not the case, I know I care about it and from the inside you can see that. For a more wide perspective, maybe it shows more fire, but I know on the inside it shows all the fire I need.”
What took so long to see success in the Truck Series?
“I don’t know, I wish I knew. Still to this day, I don’t feel like it should have been this hard. Even from the beginning of my truck races, I ran almost better than I had been. I started out running pretty competitive and then went downhill slowly. I really don’t know. Communication, people and obviously KBM has really great people. Me and Marcus (Richmond, crew chief) really didn’t gel together. Communciation is key in every business.”
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