After spending two seasons driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Truck Series, Todd Gilliland was replaced by RaphaĂ«l Lessard behind the wheel of the #4 Toyota for the 2020 season, leaving him without a ride.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the 19-year-old Sherrills Ford, North Carolina nativeâs departure from the Kyle Busch-owned team given how his two-year tenure with the organization came to an end.
Busch criticized Gilliland and rookie teammate Harrison Burton early in the 2019 season, saying that they âainât doing shitâ in top-tier Kyle Busch Motorsports equipment. He also stated that if they canât cut it at his team, they wouldnât cut it anywhere else in NASCAR.
Both drivers failed to qualify for the playoffs, making Gilliland 0 for 2. Gilliland went on to claim his first win at Martinsville Speedway in late October, and after he crossed the finish line, he shouted, âKyle Busch, you can stay in your fâing motor home!â over the radio.
That about sums up Gillilandâs tenure at Kyle Busch Motorsports.
But regardless of how it happened and whether or not this outburst had anything to do with it, it happened; Gilliland is now out of a ride as the 2020 season approaches.
There was speculation all along that DGR-Crosley, owned by Toddâs father David, was a fallback option for him should he lose his ride with Kyle Busch Motorsports. Some fans speculated that perhaps he already knew heâd be out of a ride with Buschâs team and thatâs why he said what he said to Busch to begin with, but again, we wonât get into that here.
DGR-Crosley recently confirmed a switch from Toyota to Ford, and after Tyler Ankrum left the team to join GMS Racing, they signed Tanner Gray to drive full-time.
Gilliland, meanwhile, remains unsigned and is pursuing options in both the Truck Series and the Xfinity Series.
Here is what Gilliland had to say about his future a few weeks ago, according to Autoweek.
âI wouldnât even really call it [going to DGR-Crosley] falling back â I think itâs always a good option. [My father has] always been there for me, and at this point, theyâve built a really good race team. Thatâs always something to look at, but thereâs a bunch of other really great race teams out there. Just always have to keep your options open. Just try to get the best results possible.â
At the end of the day, itâs hard to see him going without a ride in 2020, despite the sentiment set forth by Busch that if you canât cut it with his team, youâre not going to cut it anywhere else.
Burton, while he is still winless and unproven, kind of proved that sentiment wrong already by being promoted to the Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity Series team, setting up a potentially interesting year for that organization.
DGR-Crosley have fielded multiple full-time cars in the past, so itâs not like the confirmation of Gray to the team means that the door is shut on Todd joining his fatherâs team.
More than likely, he has a seat with his name on it already should he be unable to find a better opportunity.
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Where will Todd Gilliland end up for the 2020 NASCAR season? Will he remain in the Truck Series and compete for DGR-Crosley, or will he land a better opportunity in the Xfinity Series?