Despite winning five NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races in five starts for the owner of Kyle Busch Motorsports, other teams in the KBM stable have underperformed this season, leaving the team owner looking for solutions. The first step to help improve results took place on Wednesday when the team announced crew chief changes at Texas, Iowa, and Gateway for the No. 4 team of Todd Gilliland.
In eight starts this season, Gilliland has no wins, no poles, one top-five and four top-ten finishes in a truck that has finished in the top two spots the past two seasons. Not only is that disappointing for team owner Kyle Busch, but Gilliland a two-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion, is also not happy and looking for more. The outspoken Busch has made a few public comments letting his driver know he’s expecting more and if that doesn’t happen, then Gilliland may need to find a new ride. In Gilliland’s reply this week, he agrees with his boss’s assessment.
“We aren’t doing anything,” says Gilliland. “We’re running bad and that’s obviously not what you’re expected to do and not what I expect to do in Kyle Busch Motorsports stuff […] Kyle is one of the best of all-time. When he tells the team to do something, they listen. Chemistry is everything. People believe in him, and I need people to believe in me like they do with him.”
To add insult to injury, Gilliland finished eighth in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Memphis this past weekend; a series he finished runner-up in the 2017 point standings. Gilliland was hoping his return to the series would boost his confidence. So, it’s clear the time for a change in his full-time Truck Series ride is now.
Changes will take effect beginning with Friday’s Truck Series race at Texas as the No. 4 crew chief Marcus Richmond will move over to guide the No. 46 team for its next two events; at Iowa with Riley Herbst and at Gateway with Chandler Smith. Wes Ward, shop foreman at KBM, will serve as the interim crew chief for Gilliland this week at Texas and Michael Shelton, who previously served as the crew chief for the No. 46 team’s limited schedule this season, will serve as interim crew chief for Gilliland at Gateway and Iowa.
Three races will reveal what steps are needed next at Kyle Busch Motorsports for the No. 4 team of Todd Gilliland. For Gilliland the time for results starts tomorrow at Texas Motor Speedway in the SpeedyCash.com 400 on Friday, June 7th.