Todd Gilliland to run partial slate with Kyle Busch Motorsports
RELATED: Gilliland's 2017 plans set MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 21, 2016) – Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced today that 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion Todd Gilliland will compete in four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races in 2017 with primary sponsorship from Toyota – the world’s top automaker. Gilliland, who competed in seven Super Late Model races for KBM in 2016, will make his Truck Series debut behind the wheel of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra June 17 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois. The third-generation driver will also compete at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Sept. 3, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon Sept. 23 and Phoenix International Raceway Nov. 10. With six victories this year in the K&N Pro Series West, the 16-year-old matched three other drivers for the series record for most wins in a single season and also collected six poles, 11 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes en route to becoming the youngest champion in the history of any NASCAR national or touring series. The K&N West Series Rookie of the Year also competed in five K&N Pro Series East events in 2016, registering one win, one pole, three top-five and five top-10 finishes. Gilliland was victorious in his K&N Pro Series West debut at Phoenix International Raceway in November of 2015 and opened up the 2016 season with wins in both the East Series opener at New Smyrna Speedway and the West Series opener at Irwindale Speedway. He followed it up with a win at Kern County Raceway Park in April, giving him wins in each of his first four K&N Starts which matched a 60-year-old record set by International Motorsports Hall of Famer Dan Gurney. In addition to his seven career K&N Pro Series victories, Gilliland made history in his ARCA Racing Series debut at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway in May of 2015 when he became the youngest winner in series history just two days after his 15 th birthday. He finished ninth in his only other ARCA start at Iowa Speedway in July of 2015. "Todd joined the driver lineup for our Super Late Model program this year and we liked what we saw with his competitive nature and strong work ethic, so we are looking forward to seeing him move up to the Truck Series program for 2017 and getting behind the wheel of our Tundras for four races," Busch said. "He proved by winning several races in the K&N Series, both East and West, and the West Series championship that he has the talent to succeed in bigger stock cars and he deserves a chance to compete at higher levels next season." "I'm very excited for the opportunity to race in the Truck Series for KBM next year and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of everyone at Toyota and TRD," Gilliland said. "Moving up into the top levels of NASCAR is going to be a learning experience, but I know that I'm getting behind the wheel of fast Tundras and with the staff that they have in place at KBM and the knowledge that Kyle can pass along I'm going to learn a lot and continue to grow as a driver.” Gilliland joins owner-driver Busch (five races) as part of the multi-driver lineup that will compete behind the wheel of the No. 51 Tundra in 2017. Announcements for the drivers who will complete the remainder of the schedule are forthcoming.
Briscoe and Bell battle hard for the lead at Gateway
Chase Briscoe and Christopher Bell display some intense driving skills as they battle for the lead at Gateway Motorsports Park , a week after their close battle at Texas.
Nemechek takes the lead in the closing laps, wins at Gateway
John Hunter Nemechek battles Matt Crafton for the lead, takes it and wins at Gateway Motorsports Park .
Kyle Larson to make Truck start for JR Motorsports
RELATED: Entry list for Chicagoland Kyle Larson will drive the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol e15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). For Larson, it will be his first Truck Series start of the year and first since last year's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway . In nine previous starts in the series, he has one win (at Rockingham in 2013), four top fives and two poles. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular came up short on Saturday night in his bid to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup postseason field. The Chicagoland race will mark the 11th race JR Motorsports has entered in its inaugural campaign in the Camping World Truck Series. The No. 00 is primarily driven by Cole Custer , who has made seven starts in the Truck, with a win at Gateway Motorsports Park in June. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars Kasey Kahne , who won from the pole at Charlotte in May, Kevin Harvick and Alex Bowman have each piloted the Truck for one start this year. The No. 00 is currently 19th in the Camping World Truck Series owner standings.
Townley, Gallagher penalized post-Gateway
RELATED: Watch the incident from Gateway NASCAR penalized drivers John Wes Townley and Spencer Gallagher on Wednesday for their roles in an incident in Saturday night's Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park . After a review of the on-track altercation and ensuing physical quarrel in the Drivin for Linemen 200 , competition officials fined Townley $15,000 and assessed Gallagher a $12,500 fine. Both of the drivers have been placed on probation until Dec. 31. The two drivers collided in the 145 of 200 laps Saturday night, with Gallagher's GMS Racing No. 23 Chevrolet sending Townley's No. 05 Athenian Motorsports Chevy for a spin in Turn 1. The two made contact again 10 laps later in the same turn, leaving both trucks with heavy damage after impact with the outside retaining wall. After both drivers exited their trucks unhurt, a brief verbal spat escalated to a wrestling match on the track with Townley landing a smattering of punches before the two were separated. Gallagher finished 22nd and Townley 23rd in the 32-truck field. Among other penalties announced Wednesday, the teams of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Matt Kenseth received written warnings for failing pre-qualifying inspection at Sonoma Raceway. The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota team for Kenseth was issued a warning for failing two trips through the Laser Inspection Station (LIS) before Coors Light Pole Qualifying. The Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet team of Earnhardt failed body template inspection twice before Friday's Sonoma qualifying.
Erik Jones lands Camping World Truck Series duty at Gateway
RELATED: Gateway entry list Erik Jones is returning to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for a start this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park . The 2015 Camping World Truck Series champion will pilot the No. 51 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports in Saturday's Drivin for Linemen 200 brought to you by Altec (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM). This marks Jones' first start in the series since clinching the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November. Cody Coughlin was originally slated to pilot the ride but a schedule conflict came up between the Camping World Truck Series race and his full-time Late Model competition. The 20-year-old has made three starts in the Truck Series in 2016 for KBM. Jones is competing for a championship in the NASCAR XFINITY Series driving the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. The 20-year-old led 84 laps in last year's event at the 1.25-mile track before an electrical issue relegated him to a 23rd-place finish. The XFINITY Series is off this weekend. Cole Custer (No. 00 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) is the defending race winner at the Madison, Illinois track.
John Wes Townley apologizes for Gateway fight
RELATED: Townley, Gallagher fight at Gateway NASCAR driver John Wes Townley has issued an apology for his involvement in an on-track altercation a week ago during a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois. Townley was fined $15,000 and placed on probation through Dec. 31, 2016 for his involvement in the altercation with fellow driver Spencer Gallagher during the Drivin for Lineman 200. Gallagher was fined $12,500 and placed on probation through the end of the year. "I want to apologize to NASCAR and my fans," Townley said in the statement. "That's not the way I want to represent myself, (sponsor) Zaxby's or Jive Communications. I'll try my best to make sure it never happens again." The drivers were involved in two separate incidents during the race. The first contact brought out the caution flag on Lap 145 of the 160-lap race. Approximately 10 laps later, they were involved in a second incident, which eventually brought the race under the red flag. Following the second incident, both drivers climbed from their respective trucks and approached one another, with Townley then grabbing Gallagher around the head and wrestling him to the ground. Townley tried several times to punch Gallagher as the pair stood on the lower portion of the racing surface as the fracas continued. Originally scheduled to compete in this weekend's NASCAR XFINITY Series race for Athenian Motorsports at Daytona International Speedway , Townley, 26, and the team eventually withdrew the entry. "Honestly, we went into this season with our sights set on running strong in the Truck Series and ARCA," Townley said. "We've always said that. And we, as a team, don't need to overlook those goals. ... But considering that we have a Truck race (at Kentucky Speedway ) and an ARCA race next week (at Iowa Speedway ), we felt it was better to pour our time and resources into getting ready for next week." Gallagher, who is competing at Daytona this weekend, issued a statement on Monday, June 27, apologizing to Townley. "Additionally, to his team and fans, I am sorry," Gallagher said. "The incident earlier in the race was not intentional and certainly was not meant to cause bigger problems later in the event. "My crew, who have worked so hard to get me to where I am this season, did not deserve to have their night ended in that way. My teammates and all of the guys back at the shop deserve more respect than was shown Saturday night." Gallagher said he was "ashamed" he was involved in an incident "that has allowed so many to view what we do in a negative light." Townley, currently 18th in points, has one career win in the Truck Series in 101 career starts. He is winless in 76 attempts in the XFINITY Series. Gallagher, 26, is winless in 44 career starts in the Truck Series and four in the XFINITY Series. He is 11th in points in the Truck Series.
Live chat: Sonoma and Gateway
Chat with fans this weekend during the NASCAR action at Sonoma Raceway and Gateway Motorsports Park .
Start of Camping World Truck Series race delayed at Gateway
RELATED: Starting lineup The start of Saturday's Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park has been delayed due to the ongoing track-drying process. Rain and lightning saturated the 1.25-mile track earlier Saturday, canceling Keystone Light Pole Qualifying and setting the starting lineup per the rule book (combined practice speeds). The Drivin for Linemen 200 Brought to you by Altec (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) was originally scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET tonight. Driver introductions will begin at 9 p.m. ET, an hour later than initially scheduled, according to NASCAR. Fastest in both practices today, Ben Rhodes will start tonight's race from the pole position. This story will be updated.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. proud of JR Motorsports teams
RELATED: NXS results from Iowa " Truck results from Pocono Dale Earnhardt Jr . says the No. 88 team was lucky to drive away with a fourth-place finish at Pocono but had high praise for his JR Motorsports teams' performances last weekend. Saying it was a great weekend overall for the organization, Junior was excited about second places for Regan Smith in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and Kevin Harvick in the NASCAR Camping World Truck s Series. Earnhardt said Smith "did a good job" and said Harvick "didn't have a winning truck but got a lot out of it," adding that his Sprint Cup driving peer always does a good job when he jumps in a JRM truck. Smith's XFINITY crew chief, Jason Burdett, also got kudos from the boss during the radio show. "Jason Burdett, the crew chief in that car (No. 7 Chevrolet) has been awesome this year," Junior said. "If you know that guy's story, you can appreciate how hard it's been a climb for him." Burdett has been a part of two championship Sprint Cup teams, with Jeff Gordon in 2001 and and Dale Jarrett and Robert Yates Racing in 1999. He was car chief on the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team from 2008-10 before moving to Earnhardt's No. 88 team from 2011-14. Junior saved his most effusive praise for Cole Custer 's ARCA win at Pocono and Josh Berry 's Late Model victory at Orange County. "Cole (Custer) has a bright future and I'm excited about working with that kid next year and providing an opportunity for him to showcase his talents," Earnhardt said on the Dale Jr. Download on Dirty Mo Radio after returning from Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono. "Hopefully, we can do a good job giving him that opportunity." Custer is a 17-year-old member of the NASCAR Next Class of 2015. The Ladera Ranch, California, native holds the records for youngest pole award and race winner in both the Truck Series and NASCAR's touring series. This season he has a win in the Truck Series at Gateway Motorsports Park . Custer has started five NCWTS races for JR Motorsports in the No. 00 Chevrolet this season after making nine starts in the series last year with Stewart-Haas Racing 's developmental team. RELATED: See the NASCAR Next Class of 2015 Berry is 24 and won the Summer Sizzler 75 lap Late Model race Saturday night at Orange County Speedway near Rougemont, North Carolina. "He's been winning left and right," Earnhardt said of Berry. "I've never won at Orange County before. He's sure representing us very well at all the local tracks that we love to race at." Junior added that he's very proud of the JR Motorsports late model program, and "not just for the obvious reasons" of winning and representing sponsors well. He takes pride in "racing at these local venues that have meant so much to so many people in our sport over the years. It's a good feeling. Just keeping up with the Langleys and the Orange Counties of the world."
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