Three generations of Gillilands to race each other
July 07, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com
No matter how you say it, that's exactly what's going to happen July 19 in a Super Late Model Series race at Irwindale Speedway in California. Three generations of Gillilands will suit up for the 75-lap feature event -- Butch, David and Todd.
"It's going to be the first time that I'm racing against Todd and obviously the first time that he'll be racing against his grandpa," David Gilliland said in a Front Row Motorsports team release. "We're really excited about it. It's an opportunity of a lifetime for us to have three generations racing against each other. It's something that not a lot of people get to do and I'm pretty proud to be able to do it."
Butch Gilliland, 56, won the 1997 K&N Pro Series West championship and made 22 starts in a NASCAR national series, including 10 in what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He has not raced professionally since 2002.
David, Butch's son, is a full-time driver for Front Row Motorsports. He has 276 career Cup starts and won the Coors Light Pole Award at Daytona International Speedway last weekend. He was born in Irwindale and grew up racing on local tracks. In fact, Irwindale Speedway is where he won his first race on pavement -- his son, Todd, was 3 weeks old at the time.
Todd is now 14 years old and already has a pole and a victory in his first season racing late models.
Butch will drive No. 38, the number he ran during his 1997 championship run; David will drive No. 88, the number he used while racing in the West; and Todd will drive No. 98, which he currently uses this year.
The half-mile oval closed in 2012 before reopening this year.
"When Irwindale shut down, I was bummed that Todd would never be able to race there," David said. "I think Irwindale Speedway was a key part of my learning to race and, to me, it's one of the nicest if not the nicest race track I've ever raced on.
"Now that it's reopened, I was trying to do everything I could to get him to race there. And we got to looking at our (Sprint Cup) schedule this year, and on our July off weekend they had a Super Late Model race at Irwindale. So, I went to work and tried to drum up some cars for Todd and I to race against each other. Then I thought it'd be really cool to have three generations of Gillilands out there racing. So, we got a car for my dad to drive, too, and talked him into coming out and racing."