Another team has solidified its plans for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series and Truck Series seasons. Front Row Motorsports has unveiled its driver lineup for 2022, which includes Todd Gilliland moving to the No. 38 Ford Mustang.
FRM issued a press release on Tuesday, November 30, and confirmed that Gilliland will move up from the Truck Series and make his Cup Series debut. He will replace Anthony Alfredo in the No. 38 while working even more with Michael McDowell, who will return to the No. 34 Ford Mustang.
Zane Smith, a member of the championship four in 2021 after his win at Martinsville Speedway, will make the move to join FRM for the 2022 Truck Series season. He will replace Gilliland in the No. 38 Ford F-150 and strive to reach the championship four for the third consecutive season.
“I’ve been watching Zane the past few seasons,” said owner Bob Jenkins in a statement. “He’s a young driver who is a proven winner and he shows a lot of promise. We want to get him that championship in 2022, but also, we want to have Zane with us for a long time. We see a bright future for him.”
While the drivers will change, the crew chiefs will remain the same. Drew Blickensderfer will continue to work with McDowell while Seth Barbour and Chris Lawson will work with Gilliland and Smith, respectively.
Gilliland Moves to Cup After a Big Win in 2021
A full-time Truck Series driver for three seasons, Gilliland makes the move to the Cup Series after a career year. He won the inaugural race at Circuit of the Americas and locked up a total of 14 top-10 finishes and 10 top-fives.
Gilliland spent two full-time seasons in the Truck Series with FRM and one full-time with Kyle Busch Motorsports while reaching Victory Lane once for each organization. He also ran another 25 races for KBM split between the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
Gilliland will now contend for Cup Series Rookie of the Year points while driving the Next Gen No. 38 Ford Mustang. He will continue the family legacy given that his father, David Gilliland, drove the No. 38 Ford for FRM in 2010 and 2012-2015.
“I feel like I’ve found a home at FRM,” Gilliland said in the statement. “I’ve been around the team when I was growing up and watching my dad race. I joined the Truck team here and it has been a good place for my career. I can’t wait to step up into the NASCAR Cup Series. I know the challenges ahead, but I’m planning to be here and help grow with this team for a long time.”
Smith Brings 3 Career Truck Series Wins to FRM
Smith will be a new addition to FRM in 2022, but he has already shown his ability to contend for wins during two full-time seasons. He spent 2020 and 2021 in the No. 21 Chevrolet Silverado while driving for GMS Racing, and he reached Victory Lane three total times.
Smith first captured the checkered flag at Michigan International Speedway on August 7, 2020. He returned to Victory Lane at Dover International Speedway two weeks later. Smith’s third career victory took place in a must-win situation at Martinsville in 2021. He needed to win in order to reach the championship four, and he achieved this goal.
Smith told media members after his win that he didn’t have any plans for the 2022 season. He had previously told Racin’ Boys that he had a Cup Series deal with Chip Ganassi Racing, but that fell through when Trackhouse Racing purchased the organization’s NASCAR operation.
Smith used the final races of the 2021 Truck Series season as an audition and finished second in points behind Ben Rhodes. Weeks later, he was able to announce new plans that will keep him competing for a championship.
“I competed against Front Row for wins this past season and I know how competitive the team is,” Smith said in a statement. “Bob Jenkins has given me a wonderful opportunity to race for the truck series championship again. More importantly, there is an opportunity to grow with them in the future.”