Front Row Motorsports has been scraping in the lower leagues of the cup series for so many years now and have never been able to breakaway into consistent competitiveness outside of superspeedways.
They may have taken a big step into changing that today with their latest announcement to open a truck series team for the 2020 season and tab Todd Gilliland as the driver.
My biggest complaint with FRM has always been they never went out and pursued capable drivers to take their teams to the next level. When you field lower level equipment with lower level drivers like McDowell and Ragan your going to get lower level results.
I understand they were never going to be able to pull a superstar driver over there, but there are always driver like Corey LaJoie or Ross Chasstain who have potential and could use a stable team like FRM to help them finally realize it.
They’ve finally found a driver with real potential to pilot one of their cars in Gilliland.
What does this mean for Todd Gilliland?
This is a little more complicated from Gilliland’s point of view. This is a young man who was expected to be the next big name in the cup series but has struggled with Kyle Busch Motorsports equipment.
He lit up the K&N series two seasons in a row with 6 wins, 11 top fives, and 13 top tens in 14 starts each of those seasons. Bringing home the championship in each year as well.
Once he made the step up to the truck series, all of the sudden it was like he was a different driver. In 48 starts he only managed 1 win, 12 top fives, and 26 top tens with his best standings finish being 10th.
These numbers are not scrub numbers but for KBM equipment it’s underwhelming. Christopher Bell took this same equipment to 6 wins and a championship in the same amount of time in the trucks.
I don’t want to label Gilliland a bust because he’s still only 19-years old. There are so many factors that could’ve attributed to his struggles and maybe a change of pace like this is needed.
FRM is teaming up with DGR-Crosley to field this truck, so these are two teams that the GIlliland family knows well with David Gilliland driving for FRM for many years and DGR-Crosley being part owned by David. This type of support could be ideal for a young driver struggling to find his footing.
In the end, I think this was the decision that could vault FRM into true cup series competition with a development program with a driver like Gilliland who may be struggling, but still has amazing potential.