Roadkill at 180mph during the NASCAR race at Homestead-Miami Speedway
On Friday night, the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series took the green flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The season finale claimed Matt Crafton as the series champion.
Austin Hill drove it to victory lane. Todd Gilliland raced his way inside the top-10.
However, late in the race, Gilliland stuck an animal as it ran across the race track. He thought it was a squirrel.
The race continued. The truck picked up damage but the driver was able to continue on and finish the event.
“Late in the race last night Todd Gilliland said he hit something going into turn 3. We couldn’t see anything on the grill, but it was pushed in,” Kevin Hamlin noted.
“Temps were going up a bit. He said it might have been a squirrel. Turns out it was a fox. A FOX,” Kevin Hamlin tweeted after the race.
Fans blame NASCAR?
Interestingly, some fans blamed NASCAR for the incident. Likely helicopter parents, they noted that the series needs new officials who “actually watch the track.”
Which is um, interesting.
NASCAR has officials and TV cameras everywhere. But, there is a human element. When an animal runs onto the track and gets struck in a fraction of a second, there’s not even time to press a caution button.
“It shot onto the track, it immediately got hit. I’m not sure what you expect to be done,” Hamlin added.
“Okay so I didn’t know this would get turned into a thing. There’s no way NASCAR could prevent this from happening, or throw a caution fast enough. This track is out in the sticks, there’s wildlife everywhere,” Kevin Hamlin concluded.
Todd Gilliland hit a fox; finished race and run with KBM
As noted, Gilliland finished the race. It’s his final race with Kyle Busch Motorsports.
At Martinsville, Gilliland picked up his first career NGOTS win. After that win, he famously told his team owner to stay in the hauler.
After that incident, Kyle Busch was asked if Gilliland was fired. He was not and instead he finished out the season.
However, for 2020, the team will be moving in a different direction. Over the weekend, the team announced that Christian Eckes and Raphael Lessard would be running full-time with KBM in 2020.
After the race, Todd Gilliland stuck around to see what the debris was. He posted photos of the now very dead fox before throwing it in a garage area trash can.