Friday, May 7
Track: Darlington Raceway, 1.366-mile oval
Race: 8 of 22
Event: LiftKits4Less.com 200 (147 laps, 200 miles)
Race: 7:30 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1)
Hailie Deegan, No. 1 Ford Performance F-150
- Deegan makes her eighth start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season in the No. 1 Ford Performance F-150 on Friday evening at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
- Deegan’s livery is a nod to the Ford GT’s 1966 Daytona 24 Hour Continental race win. In recognition of the historic win, Ford has celebrated with the 2021 Ford GT Heritage Edition.
- Last weekend at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Deegan had her best run of the season. She ran in the top-10 and ultimately finished 13th after several late-race cautions. Kansas is the only track Deegan has raced at more than once in her young Truck Series career.
- This weekend marks Deegan’s first time at the historic Darlington track.
- Veteran crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. has called three truck races at Darlington. Hillman has recorded one win in the series with Todd Bodine in 2010.
- Click here for Deegan’s career statistics.
Crew Chief Mike Hillman Jr. Quotes:
What are your expectations for Darlington this weekend?
“Darlington is so unique in that it doesn’t drive like any of the other tracks we go to. Hailie had a strong run at Kansas, but how you drive at Kansas doesn’t apply at Darlington. We’re going to run Darlington on the simulator on Friday morning and then head straight there. Anytime a rookie goes to Darlington, if you can leave there with a clean truck and a top-15 finish you’ve had a good day.”
How beneficial has it been to have an experienced spotter this year for Hailie?
“You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Having TJ (Majors) on the roof to help guide her and limit as many mistakes as we can is huge. Without practice time, having a spotter who knows how to work traffic and the draft, aero sensitivities, how to enter the corners and all of the variables is very beneficial for Hailie to hear from.”
Check out Deegan’s YouTube channel for her vlog which covers her day at Kansas Speedway. She took in the ARCA Menards race, found Deegan fans and recaps the race after her best Truck Series finish.
Tanner Gray, No. 15 Ford Performance F-150
- Gray makes his eighth start of the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season on Friday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway carrying his usual Ford Performance colors.
- The 22-year-old driver has made one career start at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He finished 29th after making contact with the wall while battling for position on lap 124.
- Although the 18th-place result from last week at Kansas Speedway doesn’t show it, Gray had his best outing of the season hovering around the top-10 for the majority of the race. A speeding penalty when coming to pit road for a green-flag pit stop from the sixth position forced him to serve a passthrough and go one lap down to the leaders.
- Although he has called 10 Truck Series races and over 70 ARCA races in his career, Seth Smith will call the shots from atop the pit box at Darlington for the first time on Friday evening.
- Click here for Gray’s career statistics.
Gray on Darlington:
“Darlington is a really tough, technical race track that can be a lot of fun if you are running well. We were decent last year before getting damage late in the race, so hopefully we have the same speed we showed in Kansas at Darlington and we can put together a complete race start to finish.”
David Gilliland, No. 17 Black’s Tire & Auto Service F-150
- Gilliland makes his third start of the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season at Darlington. His previous two starts this year came at the season opener in Daytona and the third race of the season at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway.
- The 45-year-old driver has nine career starts at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series with a best finish of 25th in 2012. He has also competed in two career Xfinity Series races at the track.
- There will be not one, but two Black’s Tire Ford F-150s in the field on Friday evening as Gilliland will pilot the usual Black’s Tire colors and son Todd Gilliland will carry a throwback scheme to Ricky Benton’s 1998 NASCAR Winston Racing Series Atlantic Seaboard LMSC championship.
- With Seth Smith’s move over to the No. 15 truck, Chad Johnston will serve as crew chief for the No. 17. Johnston has called 10 previous races at the 1.366-mile oval in the NASCAR Cup Series with four top-five and six top-10 finishes.
- Click here for Gilliland’s career statistics.
Gilliland on Darlington:
“It’s always fun when we get to partner with Ricky (Benton) at the race track. To be representing the Black’s Tire family with Todd in Darlington is special; this is essentially a home game for those guys and we are looking forward to putting on a good show for them.”