• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Countdown to the Clash: Todd Gilliland looking for strong sophomore season with Front Row Motorsports

ByEvan McNelia

Dec 29, 2022
Todd Gilliland climbs in his car

Photo courtesy of Chris Graythen | Getty Images

Todd Gilliland is entering his second season in the NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 38 Ford for Front Row Motorsports. Gilliland is one of the youngest in the Cup Series field, just 22 years old entering the 2023 NASCAR season. 

Gilliland placed 28th overall with 11 top-20 and two top-10 finishes in his rookie 2022 campaign. His best stretch of races came between Feb. 27 and March 27 as he recorded three top 20 finishes at Auto Club, Phoenix and the Circuit of the Americas in a five-race stretch. 

However, the second half of the season featured Gilliland’s best two finishes of his rookie year. On July 31 in Indianapolis, he took fourth place on the Indy Road Course at the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard. He then placed seventh at the YellaWood 500 at Talledega in early October.

He has quickly risen the rankings of racing from the ARCA Menards Series and the K&N Series, to the Truck Series and now has a year in the Cup Series under his belt.

Gilliland became the youngest driver and winner of an ARCA race when he won his debut at Toledo in 2015, two days after his 15th birthday. Gilliland placed ninth at Iowa later that season and took first at Phoenix in the ARCA West Series.

He ran full-time in the ARCA West series in 2016 and 2017. He was crowned champion each season, recording a combined 27 top-10s, 23 top-5s and 12 wins across 28 races. He also ran part-time in the K&N East Series in 2016 and full-time the following season. He placed second in his full-time season and recorded five wins across 19 races in those two seasons. Between 2018 and 2020 Gilliland ran a limited schedule in each series recording three wins and 11 top-10s across 13 races.

2017 also marked the year Gilliland made his Truck Series debut, appearing in six races for Kyle Busch Motorsports. The following year he ran on a more consistent basis, running in 19 of 23 races. Despite not running the full schedule, Gilliland placed 10th overall on the season with nine top-10 finishes.

In his first full Truck season in 2019, he placed 11th and recorded his first career Truck win at the Fall Martinsville race. 

In 2020, Gilliland was replaced by KBM and joined Front Row Motorsports, the team his father David raced for. He drove the No. 38 Ford Truck for two seasons before making his Cup debut in the No. 38 that his father had originally piloted for the team. 

In 68 races in his three full-time Truck seasons, he finished in the top 10 40 times. He got his second career Truck win at the Circuit of the Americas in 2021. He finished seventh in the standings in 2021, the best of his Truck Series career. 

Though he focused mainly on his Cup season in 2022, Gilliland ran in one Truck race for his father’s team. Driving the No. 17 David Gilliland Racing Ford, he won his one appearance of the season at Knoxville. 

Entering his second season in the second year of the Next Gen car, Gilliland will have another slate to try and find his first Cup Series victory and the first for the No. 38 at Front Row Motorsports. It would also mark the team’s first win since Michael McDowell won the 2021 Daytona 500

Now 38 days out from the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, Gilliland will be looking for a solid start to the season after missing out on the main race in 2022.