Todd Gilliland has learned virtually everything he knows about racing from his father, Sprint Cup driver David Gilliland, and grandfather and dominating former west coast racer Butch Gilliland.
Saturday night at Irwindale Speedway in suburban Los Angeles, 14-year-old Todd showed dad and granddad a thing or two, finishing third in the Super Late Models main event. It was the first time that all three generations of Gillilands have raced in the same event.
With the Gilliland’s as the keynote drivers of the night, it was fitting that the race track called the event “Family Night,” with free admission for kids, dollar hot dogs, tacos and sodas.
And when it came for the three generations of Gillilands to put on a show, that’s what they did for the nearly 6,000 race fans that showed up.
Jason Patison, of Corona, California, wound up winning the race, followed by Jack Madrid of Dove Canyon, California, and then the youngest Gilliland, from Sherrill’s Ford, North Carolina.
Butch, meanwhile, who hasn’t raced competitively since 2002, proved that racing is like riding a bike: once you get behind the wheel, you never forget, finishing a strong fifth.
That left David Gilliland, who was hoping to join his son and father in the top-five, only to have those dreams wrecked – literally and figuratively – when he and Ryan Partridge collided on Lap 30.
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