Tuesday, 18 February 2020

NASCAR: Where does Todd Gilliland go from here? – Beyond the Flag

NASCAR: Where does Todd Gilliland go from here? – Beyond the Flag
22 Dec

Out of a ride at Kyle Busch Motorsports following the 2019 NASCAR Truck Series season, where does Todd Gilliland go from here for 2020 and beyond?

After spending two seasons driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Truck Series, Todd Gilliland was replaced by Raphaël 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 native’s 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 “ain’t doing shit” in top-tier Kyle Busch Motorsports equipment. He also stated that if they can’t cut it at his team, they wouldn’t 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, “Kyle Busch, you can stay in your f—ing motor home!” over the radio.

That about sums up Gilliland’s 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 Todd’s 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 he’d be out of a ride with Busch’s team and that’s why he said what he said to Busch to begin with, but again, we won’t 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.

“I wouldn’t even really call it [going to DGR-Crosley] falling back — I think it’s always a good option. [My father has] always been there for me, and at this point, they’ve built a really good race team. That’s always something to look at, but there’s 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.”

At the end of the day, it’s hard to see him going without a ride in 2020, despite the sentiment set forth by Busch that if you can’t cut it with his team, you’re 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 it’s not like the confirmation of Gray to the team means that the door is shut on Todd joining his father’s 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?

Source: https://beyondtheflag.com/2019/12/21/nascar-where-does-todd-gilliland-go-here/


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