DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Eleven years after winning the pole for the Daytona 500, David Gilliland found himself atop qualifying at Daytona Int’l Speedway again, this time for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Keeping the seat of Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 Pedigree Toyota Tundra warm for son Todd, who will compete in the series full-time after he turns 18 in May, the elder Gilliland scorched the high banks during pole qualifying with a lap of 49.017 seconds (183.610 mph) around the 2.5-mile tri-oval superspeedway.
Leading both rounds of knockout qualifying, the pole was Gilliland’s first in 11 Truck Series starts.
“We all know it’s speedway racing; you need to be there at the end, but this is a great start,” said Gilliland of winning the pole. “Thanks to everyone at KBM and (crew chief) Marcus Richmond for preparing an incredible truck for me to drive. It’s so fun to drive this piece. It’s not been since I came down here in 2007 with Robert Yates that I’ve driven something this fast.”
“To drive the same truck that my son’s going to drive, and now to put it on the pole, is beyond special. I can hardly put it into words.”
Another veteran in Johnny Sauter will join Gilliland on the front row. Sauter’s No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado put up a lap of 49.131 seconds (183.184 mph) in the final round, giving him the second-fastest speed among the 36-truck qualifying field.
Clay Greenfield’s low-budget, single-truck team impressed onlookers with a third-place qualifying effort (49.212/182.882), the best of his Truck Series career, with Dalton Sargeant and Noah Gragson completing the Fast Five.
The ThorSport Racing Ford F-150s of Matt Crafton and Grant Enfinger were sixth and seventh, respectively, followed by Spencer Davis, Stewart Friesen, Cody Coughlin, Austin Hill and Justin Haley among the dozen drivers who made it to the second and final knockout round.
Joe Nemechek was the first driver who failed to transfer out of the first round, posting a best lap of 49.732 seconds (180.970 mph) in the No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado, just ahead of his son, former series playoff contender John Hunter Nemechek.
Other notables who will start deep in the pack include Myatt Snider (20th), Brett Moffitt (22nd) and Ben Rhodes (24th), whose ThorSport Ford F-150 simply “lacked speed” during his qualifying run.
The NextEra Energy Resources 250 kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET, live on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
Full qualifying results can be viewed on the next page…