The NASCAR Cup Series took their second trip to the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for the second-to-last race of the 2023 season.
Qualifying 17th in the Quincy Compressor Ford Mustang, Todd Gilliland and the No. 38 team were ready to beat and bang around the historic track. With 30 laps remaining in Stage 1, the caution flag waved giving Gilliland and the team a chance to pit, taking four tires and fuel. Back under green, Gilliland finished the stage18th.
Staying out to start Stage 2, Gilliland started the stage within the top-15. Holding a steady pace throughout the stage, the caution waved giving the team a chance to pit. Taking just right-side tires and fuel, Gilliland gained spots on pit road restarting fourth with 35 laps remaining in the stage. Gilliland was shuffled back but defended his ground to finish the stage eighth.
Pitting for tires and fuel to start the final stage, Gilliland had to battle from the mid-pack. Picking off competitors in the caution filled stage, Gilliland found himself within the top-10. Defending his ground, Gilliland finished the race 10th, marking his fourth top-10 finish of the 2023 season.
Qualifying 23rd, Michael McDowell and the No. 34 Stage Front VIP Ford Mustang team were ready to race on the half-mile oval. Battling a loose race car, a caution for the 48 gave the Stage Front VIP team a chance to pit and work on it, taking tires and fuel along with air pressure and wedge adjustments to tighten up McDowell. McDowell finished the stage 22nd.
Pitting under the stage break caution, McDowell took four tires and fuel to start the second stage. Racing within the top-20, McDowell pitted once again under caution for the 51. Taking only right-side tires and fuel, McDowell restarted 11th. Racing hard to the end of the stage, McDowell was shuffled back finishing the stage 19th.
Pitting for left side tires at the end of the stage, McDowell was determined to fight for every spot till the end. Colliding with the 99, McDowell’s Ford Mustang suffered damage. Things didn’t get better as McDowell was spun by another competitor. Making up what spots he could, McDowell pitted under green for four tires and fuel, putting him two laps down. McDowell made up a lap and finished the race 25th.