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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Front Row Motorsports Ventures into the Truck Series

Mid-January brought an announcement from Front Row Motorsports many did not see coming. Just a few weeks after announcing the reduction to two teams in the Cup Series, the organization shared it would compete in the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series for the first time. In addition, Todd Gilliland would be piloting the No. 38 Ford F-150. 

Gilliland is no stranger to FRM. His father, David, is a former driver for Bob Jenkins’ organization in the Cup Series from 2010-2016. Additionally, David is the co-owner of DGR-Crosley, with whom FRM formed an alliance with for the Truck Series.

Todd Gilliland is a three-year Truck Series veteran. Prior to Daytona, he had 48 starts in the series. Impressively, he had collected 26 top 10s, nearly half of which were top-five finishes. He had claimed two poles over the years and a single win. That checkered flag finish came at Martinsville Speedway in the Fall of 2019 while driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

In his previous Truck Series seasons, Gilliland had an average starting position of 8.1 and an average finishing position of 11.5. To date, he has led 280 laps in his Truck Series tenure.

Those joining Gilliland on the No. 38 Truck team include former Cup Series engineer and crew chief Jon Leonard, as well as Coleman Pressley atop the spotters stand. 


Opening Laps for FRM in the Truck Series

Next Era 250 at Daytona International Speedway

Gilliland qualified P25 for FRM’s Truck Series debut. He worked his way to P10 by lap 16. However, before he could make any more ground, the red flag waved as Ty Majeski flipped and slid down the track on his roof. 

Once the red flag lifted, Gilliland went on to finish the opening stage in P10, thus earning one stage point. Stage two was much calmer and had the No. 38 starting P16 and finishing P14. 

The final stage brought the action. With 35 laps remaining, the caution flew and Gilliland was sitting P5. He stopped for fuel only and restarted P6.

Drivers were jockeying for position and awaiting the opportune moment to make their moves. With 21 laps to go, Gilliland was holding steady in P4 while pushing Ford driver Ben Rhodes to the lead. Later, the two joked on Twitter about the momentum they had at that moment of the race.

Once Rhodes claimed the lead, it was Gilliland’s turn to work toward the front. 

Then, the unfortunate happened. With only three laps remaining, Gilliland was involved in a massive accident forcing him to pit for tires and minor repairs. Thankfully, he was able to finish the race on the lead lap.

After battling for the lead and being entangled in one of Daytona’s “Big Ones,” the veteran driver on the rookie team finished P16 in NASCAR overtime. 

The No. 38 Black’s Tire Service Truck Series team hard at work in Daytona. (Photo Credit: Front Row Motorsports.)

Strat 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Speedco was the primary sponsor on the No. 38 Ford F-150 at Las Vegas with its eye-catching blue and yellow paint scheme. Fortunately, Gilliland kept the FRM Truck team in the spotlight for the better part of the evening. 

Todd Gilliland was easy to spot with the Speedco colors in Las Vegas. (Photo Credit: Front Row Motorsports.)

He qualified P25 for the Strat 200 on Friday night. Within two laps he had worked his way to the 14th position and finished the opening stage in the same spot. The second stage had Gilliland earning two stage points by finishing P9.

Gilliland’s pit crew delivered fast, solid pit stops throughout the evening, getting him off pit road quickly and earning him multiple spots on the track.

Another caution flew on lap 75 while Gilliland was battling for the second spot. However, he was scored P3 at the yellow.

When the checkered flag flew, Gilliland brought home a P7 finish. As a result, Gilliland heads into a two-week, off-track break sitting 11th in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series rankings.

Teams will take the upcoming weeks to prepare for Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 14. Later in March, teams will tackle Homestead-Miami Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.

Certainly, fans of the 16-year organization are anxious to see how Gilliland and the No. 38 Truck Series team will fare throughout the 2020 season. Keep up with Front Row Motorsports and Todd Gilliland on Twitter for all the latest news.

As a life-long NASCAR fan and lover of words, I'm fortunate enough to put the two together here at The Podium Finish to bring our readers and motorsports fans news, features, and interviews from the world of wheels. Originally from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, I moved westward to graduate from Middle Tennessee State University. I now reside in central North Carolina with my husband, our three boys, and our dog, Charlotte. While my heart is at the race track, I also enjoy watching baseball, as well as college football and basketball. 

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