FRM Bristol Dirt Recap: Smith and McDowell Score Top-10 Finishes. Gilliland Finishes 17th

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Front Row Motorsports (FRM) took to the dirt at “The Last Great Colosseum,” the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. All three drivers were in action on Easter weekend, as Smith earned another Top-10, McDowell powered forward for a ninth-place finish, and Gilliland rebounded for 17th.
Zane Smith started the weekend searching for speed throughout practice. Due to a random draw, he started towards the back of his qualifying race. Smith was able to gain a few passing points and started the feature event in 17th.
The No. 38 Speedco Ford F-150 fought the track all evening, as Smith reported the truck was tight. He finished both stages outside of the top-10 but was able to fight his way up to 14th to start the final stage. The team elected to not pit at the end of the stage to gain track position.
Smith started the final stage by reporting that the power steering had started to fade, but that didn’t deter him from moving forward. The young driver searched for speed on both the top and the bottom lines, making up positions to bring home another top-10 finish.
SMITH ON BRISTOL DIRT:“Dirt racing is still something I am trying to learn and improve on. The No. 38 crew did an amazing job helping me get this Speedco Ford F-150 inside the top-10 to keep our streak alive. We’ll take these next two off-weeks to prepare and really hit Darlington hard.”
The No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops/Speedco Ford Mustang of Michael McDowell had a great weekend. Working on both the car and track conditions in practice, McDowell finished fourth in his heat race and started the feature in 17th.
By the end of Stage One, McDowell had his Love’s Ford into the top-15, and was positioned to pounce at the top-10 runners. Adjusting to the changing track and weather conditions, as well as taking advantage of restarts, McDowell was able to claim stage points by finishing eighth in Stage Two.
It was from the beginning of Stage Three, onward, that the Love’s Travel Stops/Speedco team showed their potential. They raced inside the top-10 for the remainder of the night. When all was said and done, McDowell finished in the ninth position, inking his second top-10 of the season.
MCDOWELL ON BRISTOL DIRT:“For not being a driver with a dirt racing background, a top-10 at the end of this race is amazing. We had an amazing car that handled great all weekend, and we made the most of it. We finally had a race come our way, so I’m excited to get this after the last three races we have had.”
Todd Gilliland came into the weekend and turned heads, as the NASCAR Cup Series rookie took the No. 38 First Phase Credit Card Ford Mustang to third in final practice. Gilliland started in the first heat race and was in pole position. Unfortunately, the bottom was a hard place to restart. Gilliland ultimately finished his heat in sixth, starting Sunday’s Cup race in 23rd.
Gilliland started the feature and quickly found himself making up ground on the high side and by the end of Stage One, he was up to 18th. In Stage Two, Gilliland continued to impress on the dirt, making up more ground to finish the stage in 15th. Then, as they were about to start the third and final stage, the rain came.
The final stage was plagued by rain delays and restarts, Gilliland was shuffled back to the 21st position as the race got back underway. In the closing laps, Gilliland spun off of Turn Two, avoiding any damage. He went back to work, making up the ground he lost and then some to round out his dirt weekend with a 17th-place finish.
GILLILAND ON BRISTOL DIRT:“Dirt track racing is something that has always been a fun challenge to me. I was really happy with the work the No. 38 First Phase Credit Card team put in to give me the opportunity to have a great day. We were able to climb back up through those final restarts and ended with a solid finish.”

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