“Man, this awesome. Being back in victory lane, this is fun. I love racing these guys” Eckes said in victory lane. “We got a few more races to go, and we are still in the championship hunt, so we will have to go see what happens.
“We have been in a little bit of a dry spell, so it is nice to get to victory lane with this group of guys and JBL and Sirius XM radio.”
Gilliland led the first 32 laps after the race was delayed over an hour due to lightning in the air. He pitted to get his Joe Gibbs Racing car serviced for his only stop of the day, but when he was leaving pit road, he received a penalty when he went above the blend line. Chandler Smith also occurred a penalty for speeding through pit road as well.
Gilliland rallied to finish second but was visibly disappointed exiting his car after the race on pit road.
“It was fast. These Gibbs guys did a great job, but it’s just horrible. I made a mistake” Gilliland said after the race. “I slid up a little bit (the blend line), and I guess they thought it was unsafe. It is what it is, I can’t just thank these guys enough. This is a one race deal, and we definitely had a car to win and we deserved it, but we just didn’t get to close it out.”
Points leader Michael Self had to pit a little bit earlier in the race due to a puncture in one of his four tires. He went in and out of pit road and wound up finishing in the third spot.
Self did keep the points lead but did lose a little bit of cushion. His lead is now only 75 points over second place Eckes.
Only four cars were on the lead lap at the end of the race.
Up next, the ARCA Menards Series heads to Springfield for the Allen Crowe 100 in three weeks.