Ford Authority

NASCAR Ford Team Unexpectedly Sidelines Todd Gilliland For Five Races

NASCAR Ford team, Front Row Motorsports, recently announced that it would field Ford Mustang race cars for rookie driver Zane Smith in six Cup Series events throughout the 2023 racing season. Of those six events, Smith will be taking the place of Cup Series regular Todd Gilliland behind the wheel of the No. 38 Mustang for five – a decision that Gilliland himself was “disappointed” about.

Following FRM’s announcement that it would give Smith the opportunity to race at the Cup Series level in the No. 38 NASCAR Ford, Gilliland released a statement on his Twitter account. “As you guys heard, I won’t be full time in the 38 this year,” he wrote. “It was a shock when they told me and I’m disappointed.”

Gilliland added that he is attempting to find a different ride for the five races Cup Series races that he will not be competing in. As a reminder, Smith is slated to race the No. 38 Mustang at Phoenix on March 12th, Talladega on April 23rd, Coca-Cola 600 on May 28th, Sonoma on June 11th, Texas on September 24th and the Charlotte Roval on October 8th, leaving Gilliland to seek other options if he wants to race at those tracks.

At this time, it’s unclear why FRM unexpectedly removed Gilliland from its roster for the aforementioned events, but it’s highly likely that funding for the race car factored into the decision. Smith brings Wellbetter and Ambetter Health as sponsors to the No. 38 Mustang, and these sponsors do not currently back Gilliland.

Gilliland began his Cup Series career in 2022, taking control of FRM’s No. 38 NASCAR Ford fulltime. His best finish in the division so far occurred at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on July 31st, 2022. He was scored fourth, though he technically finished fifth, thanks to a disqualification of the driver who finished second.

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Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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  1. Bob Dobson

    Why did they pull hime?…..did he use the N word, the same word that’s said 10X in every rap song on the radio. Now he needs sensitivity training.

    1. Homer

      It all money, Smith’s got it (NV casino help), Gilliland doesn’t.

  2. Mike says...

    This is a business… not a hobby. Driver changes are made for a host of reasons which is the right of the team owner/operator. When you hire on, you do not assume the right to tell your boss what you will or will not do or anything else for that matter. If you are good at what you do, great, if not….. well……

  3. Materialman

    If you don’t like the way an employer treats you, move on.

  4. James

    👍 up to all comments, I’ve been saying this for quite some time. Employer’s don’t owe you dog doddle ! Something today’s America needs to relearn. You don’t produce your outta here and no mediator brought in to try and change it.

  5. Dennis

    Money talks and Bull$hit walks……


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