Todd Gilliland is on the charge. The 17-year-old driver of Bill McAnally Racing’s No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry has won three of his last four races in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and has closed to within six points of the lead in the championship standings.
He aims to keep the momentum rolling as the series goes road racing at Watkins Glen International this week.
Gilliland will experience the twists and turns of the historic New York track for the first time as he competes in the Finger Lakes Wine Country 100 on Friday.
“It’s going to be really cool; I’ve watched so many races from Watkins Glen,” said the third-generation driver from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina. “The speeds are up there. It has a lot of grip, just being repaved. I’m excited to be going there. Our setups are getting much closer on these road courses and we should be in contention.”
Friday’s race on the 2.45-mile track marks the first of two road course events on this year’s 14-race K&N East schedule. The series will travel to New Jersey Motorsports Park in September. Gilliland, who is running the full schedules in the East and West divisions of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series this year, competed on a road course in K&N West competition earlier this season, finishing sixth at Northern California’s Sonoma Raceway in June.
A member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights NASCAR’s rising stars, Gilliland is coming off a big win in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway – his second straight victory in the prestigious event. He has three wins, seven top-five, and 10 top-10 finishes in 10 series starts this season.
A VIP experience is planned, meanwhile, for special guests of NAPA Syracuse on Friday – with BMR arranging a tour that will provide a behind-the-scenes view of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage. Guests will also meet Gilliland and BMR team owner Bill McAnally.
The Finger Lakes Wine Country 100, which is slated to be televised on NBCSN on Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. ET, is part of the big NASCAR weekend at Watkins Glen International that also features the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series.