This year’s championship in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will be decided in the final race of the season at Dover International Speedway on Friday.
Todd Gilliland, who drives the No. 16 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry for Bill McAnally Racing, leads the championship standings by eight points as the series makes its annual visit to the Delaware track, known as the Monster Mile.
The 17-year-old third-generation driver from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina is riding a hot streak – with four wins and three runner-up finishes in the past seven races. He aims to continue that momentum on Friday.
“I’m really confident about our Dover package for our NAPA Toyota,” said Gilliland, a member of the NASCAR Next program that spotlights NASCAR’s rising stars.
Although Friday’s race will mark his first K&N East start at Dover, Gilliland did compete at the high-banked track earlier this year in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event.
In addition to leading in K&N East points, Gilliland also leads the standings as the defending champion in the K&N West – as he attempts to become the first driver to win championships in the East and West divisions of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series in the same season.
Chasing both titles will require double duty this week. After competing in the K&N East race at Dover on Friday, Gilliland will travel approximately 2,400 miles west for a K&N West race at Meridian Speedway in Idaho on Saturday.
“It’s going to be really busy, especially with it being the finale for the K&N Pro Series East,” he said. “Right after Dover, we’ll get busy focusing on the K&N West and Meridian.”
Crisscrossing the county this year in running both divisions has kept Gilliland on the go.
“It’s been super busy, but I feel like it’s made me better as a driver,” he said.
Gilliland – coming off a second-place finish at New Jersey Motorsports Park – has four wins, 10 top-five, and 13 top-10 finishes in 13 K&N East starts this season.
Special activities are planned, meanwhile, for a group of NAPA guests at Dover. NAPA guests from NAPA Delaware and NAPA Washington will be treated to a special meet-and-greet with the NAPA team and a special garage tour.
The K&N East race, which is scheduled to be televised on NBCSN on Oct. 6 at 10:30 p.m. ET, is part of the big NASCAR weekend at Dover that also features the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR XFNINITY Series.
The speedway has hosted 16 stand-alone K&N East events since 1998. In addition, the series competed at the track in 10 combination events with the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Race winners among the stand-alone races included Jimmy Spencer, Brett Moffitt, and Darrell Wallace Jr.