Todd Gilliland has been working to fill out his NASCAR Cup Series schedule since learning that Zane Smith would replace him in the No. 38 Ford Mustang for six races. Now, the second-year driver has achieved this goal.
According to a press release from Front Row Motorsports, the team will field a third car for Gilliland during the April 23 race at Talladega Superspeedway. He will drive the No. 36 Ford Mustang with one of Carl Ruedebusch’s companies as his primary. The exact company will be revealed at a later date.
Gilliland revealed prior to the Daytona 500 that he had worked out a deal with Rick Ware Racing that covered five of his six open races of the 2023 Cup Series season. The only remaining gap was Talladega Superspeedway. Now, Gilliland has filled out his schedule.
“I wanted to ensure that Todd raced the full season in the NASCAR Cup Series this year,” Ruedebusch said in a press release. “He has proven that he can compete with the best of the best and be successful.
“We are thankful to Front Row Motorsports for making this opportunity available for Todd to reunite with his old teammates and friend Chris Lawson to race for a win at Talladega.”
Gilliland Will Split Time Between 2 Teams
Prior to the Daytona 500, it appeared that Gilliland wouldn’t be able to compete full-time during his sophomore season. The situation has now changed with him finding seats for all of his open races.
The Rick Ware Racing portion of Gilliland’s schedule includes five events. He will take over the No. 15 at Phoenix Raceway before returning at Sonoma Raceway, Texas Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the Charlotte Roval.
Gilliland will remain with Front Row Motorsports for the remainder of his 2023 NASCAR Cup Series schedule, albeit as he drives two different entries. He will control the No. 36 Ford at Talladega Superspeedway and then he will make his previously scheduled starts in the No. 38 Ford Mustang.
“I really want to thank Carl Ruedebusch for everything he has done for me,” Gilliland added. “It is not just this year, but last year, and being a good friend to our family. Also, it’s important to be clear that Bob Jenkins has put more resources into my career than anyone outside my family.
“It was unfortunate that I can’t race all 36 races with FRM, but the team is working hard to build my program for the future. For now, I want to thank all our partners, and especially Carl Ruedebusch for working together to make this happen. We will now put this behind us and go race to win.”
1 of Gilliland’s Best Finishes Was at Talladega Superspeedway
The ability to compete at Talladega Superspeedway provides Gilliland with another opportunity to pursue another strong performance. After all, the YellaWood 500 in 2022 served as one of his best runs in the No. 38.
While Gilliland’s first race at Talladega Superspeedway ended early due to a crash, he was able to complete all 188 laps during the fall race. He started near the rear of the field and then he worked his way up into the top 10 during the final stage of a surprisingly tame race.
Gilliland crossed the finish line seventh overall, ahead of several playoff drivers. This was only his second top-10 finish of the season, which followed a fourth-place run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.
Now, he will be able to try to surpass this while remaining with Front Row Motorsports. More importantly, he can move forward with the knowledge that he will remain eligible for a playoff spot if he wins a race. He has a full schedule, so he does not have to worry about applying for a waiver.