Todd Gilliland is one major step closer to putting together a full-season campaign in the NASCAR Cup Series for 2023, having secured a deal to compete in five of the six open events on his schedule.
During Wednesday’s Daytona 500 Media Day, Gilliland confirmed to members of the media that he has secured a five-race deal to drive the No. 15 Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing, starting at Phoenix Raceway in March.
“I’m going to run five of the six in the Rick Ware No. 15 car, and then we’re working on the sixth one,” Gilliland said. “It’s really cool, I’m really, really thankful for those guys letting me hop in that car. I have a lot of respect for what they’re doing, what they’re growing with being on RFK’s campus now, so hopefully that all goes really good.”
Gilliland will continue his five-race tenure behind the wheel of the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing entry at Charlotte (May), Sonoma (June), Texas (September), and Charlotte’s ROVAL (October).
With this five-race commitment to Rick Ware Racing, Gilliland will now be tasked with finding a landing spot for one more event, at Talladega Superspeedway. Riley Herbst is scheduled to return to the RWR No. 15 in that race, leaving it unavailable for Gilliland.
The pre-season adjustment for Gilliland comes after a February 7 announcement by Front Row Motorsports, where the organization confirmed Zane Smith would compete in six NASCAR Cup Series events in the chartered No. 38 Ford Mustang.
Gilliland was originally scheduled to contest his second full-time season in a Front Row Motorsports entry, with new crew chief Ryan Bergenty calling the shots. Smith will debut int he No. 38 at Phoenix.
Good to see him get back nearly all the races this year except Talladega for the time being. Hope he will lift RWR in some way out from the back, especially when they will need to be Top 32 and up this season to avoid being repossessed by NASCAR when it comes to charters. I guess he and FRM will have to convince Zane Smith to drive the 3rd open car again at Talladega (Spring) in order for Todd to complete the whole 36 races, while Todd can add another RWR race onto his schedule that has yet to be booked & have Zane back in there at a race other than Talladega (Spring) to round off his 6th part-time Cup race stint there.