Not your typical eighth-grader: Todd Gilliland, 13, wins first career Late Model race

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Normally, when you put the words “sweep” and “13-year-old” together, it typically means mom or dad want Junior to use a broom.

That’s not the case for young Todd Gilliland.

The son of NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Gilliland thoroughly swept through things Friday night at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, N.C., leading two practice sessions, earning his first-ever pole in qualifying and ultimately winning the race, his first triumph in a Late Model car.

What’s more, it was just the seventh stock car race the younger Gilliland has competed in, driving for his father’s David Gilliland Racing team.

After the top three qualifiers were inverted to start the race, Gilliland moved into second within the first 10 laps and romped over the rest of the field in the final 24 laps to win the 40-lap Limited Late Model event.

Oh, and did we mention that David is only an eighth-grader?! But it’s also obvious his father has imparted a lot of veteran knowledge to his young son.

“I just had to be smart and patient the whole race,” Gilliland said. “I needed to stay calm and take my time, because I knew if I wrecked, I was done.”

The younger Gilliland now leads the points in both the Limited Late Model and Late Model stock car classes at the .40-mile track. With his win, he now top-three finishes in each of his last five starts.

“I just wish my dad had been there, but he’s in Talladega. I couldn’t wait to talk to him after. I want to be just like him when I grow up.”

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Plans revealed for upgraded Circuit Gilles Villeneuve pit complex

Société du parc Jean‑Drapeau
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Plans for the upgraded pit and paddock complex at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada, have been unveiled ahead of their completion in time for the 2019 Formula 1 race.

The Canadian Grand Prix signed a new long-term F1 contract running to 2029 earlier this year, with a commitment to improving the outdated pit facilities at the circuit, built in 1988.

In a press conference earlier this week, further details and artist renderings were revealed for the CA$48 million project by the Société Parc Jean‑Drapeau.

A new glass structure will become the main pit complex, covering three levels to accommodate the teams, media and hospitality guests.

The construction work will commence at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in July 2018 – one month after next year’s Canadian Grand Prix – and be completed two months prior to the 2019 race.

Photo: Société du parc Jean‑Drapeau
Photo: Société du parc Jean‑Drapeau