Earns Sixth K&N Pro West Win to Expand Championship Lead
By Brooke Franceschini, NASCAR
September 25, 2016 - 5:13am
MERIDIAN, Idaho – Todd Gilliland capitalized on a mistake made by Ryan Partridge late in the NAPA Auto Parts/Idaho 208 to take home his sixth NASCAR K&N Pro Series West trophy of the year.
Gilliland, 16, a Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, native started the race fifth and picked his way through the field to move into second behind Partridge, who had led a total of 121 laps before being overtaken by the NASCAR Next driver.
Partridge, 28, from Rancho Cucamonga, California, held off a charging Gilliland until late in the race when the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender slipped past him for the lead with 73 laps remaining. This started the back and forth lead change between the two championship contenders for the duration of the 208-lap event.
With five laps remaining at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway, a multi-car wreck occurred to force the field to a stop on a red flag. When the race resumed ten laps later, it was for a green-white-checkered attempt. Gilliland and Partridge were battling side-by-side, when Partridge made a costly mistake that caused him to spin and Gilliland cruised to his sixth Victory Lane celebration of the year.
Gilliland was able to to extend his lead to 25-points over Partridge, who won the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day, with only one more race remaining on the 2016 schedule. Gragson is third in points, 21 behind Partridge and 14 over his Jefferson Pitts Racing teammate Gracin Raz.
Gilliland’s fellow Bill McAnally Racing teammate and NASCAR Next classmate, Julia Landauer, finished second to tie the record for the highest finishing female in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West as well as earn her best career finish.
NASCAR Next alumna Nicole Behar finished third, while Cole Rouse and Gracin Raz rounded out the top five.
Noah Gragson, Stafford Smith, Rich DeLong III, Chris Eggleston and Blaine Perkins completed the top 10.
The NAPA Auto Parts/Idaho 208 will air on NBCSN, Friday, September 30 at 12:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. MT.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will be back in action on Saturday, October 15 for the season finale at California’s All American Speedway.