Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Spencer Gallagher will not race for GMS Racing in 2019

Leave a comment

KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Spencer Gallagher announced Friday that he will not return to the No. 23 Xfinity car for GMS Racing after this season.

Gallagher said he would take a more managerial role in his family’s GMS Racing team. He said the team has not selected a replacement. He also said that team will continue to field entries in the Truck Series.

Gallagher has one career Xfinity win in 55 career starts. He won at Talladega in April. Shortly after he was suspended indefinitely for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. He returned at Kentucky in July. He said he has no plans to race again, although he didn’t rule out a possible Truck race at some point.

“Trust me when I say this is the hardest decision I have ever had to make and I do not make it lightly,” Gallagher said Friday at Kansas Speedway. “At the end of the day, this came down to what do I want for my future, what do I want for GMS’ future and how can I grow this team and this sport. Candidly, the problem with being a driver is if you’re going to be a driver, that’s generally all you can be. … If you’re going to be a driver, at least to my mind, you need to be a race car driver from the time you wake up at 6 a.m. Monday morning to the time you go to bed at 10 p.m. Sunday night.

“There’s absolutely no off-time. You have to be totally focused and totally committed every second of the day to pushing yourself and your team to finding that last little tenth. That can be a really time-consuming process as fun as it is. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for any other ventures to go on and I make no bones about it I’m a businessman’s son. At the end of the day I see opportunity out here and I feel a calling within me to go chase it to benefit myself and benefit our sport.

“I think, candidly, this sport could use young fresh minds in leadership roles that are not afraid to go out and try to change things up and try to find something that works that helps all of us out. That’s what I see. I came here 10 years ago and I fell in love with this sport, with this business. I want to help it thrive. I believe, more so than in the seat, that’s where my real skill set lays.

“I’ve got a lot of connections still back in Silicon Valley. Racing can be a unique crucible again for proving out a lot of automotive technologies that are getting ready to hit us.”

Long: Is Talladega supposed to look like this?

11 Comments

So what is NASCAR? Is it a sport? Or is it a show?

Admittedly, those in the NASCAR offices likely will view its racing as both. But that creates a conflict over how to look at Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.

If one views it as a sporting event, Stewart-Haas Racing’s domination — qualifying all of its cars in the top four, running there much of the race and Aric Almirola winning with Clint Bowyer second — should be celebrated because SHR did what every team hopes to do every weekend.

But that performance doesn’t play well to the overall view of the race (or show). With SHR controlling the front and drivers battling ill-handling cars, the two- and three-wide racing so common at Talladega often was replaced by single-file racing.

The 15 lead changes were the fewest at Talladega since 1973.

Green flag passes — a stat NASCAR tracks based on position changes over each scoring loop on every lap — were down 54.4 percent from last fall’s playoff race at Talladega.

Think about that … lead changes at its lowest level since before any driver in Sunday’s race was born and green-flag passes down more than 50 percent from the previous year.

Is that something fans want to see more of?

Doesn’t seem to be the case based on Jeff Gluck’s weekly Twitter poll. He stated that only 42 percent of those who voted this week thought Talladega was a good race.

Fewer than 50 percent of the voters said either Talladega race this year was a good one in Gluck’s poll. The April race had 24 lead changes — the fewest for that event since 19 lead changes in the 1998 race — and saw a 57.8 percent decline in green-flag passes.

There’s an expectation when NASCAR races at Daytona and Talladega of pack racing, passing and wild action.

Such was in limited supply at both Talladega races this year. But it wasn’t just there. The four plate races (Daytona and Talladega) saw 89 lead changes this season — down 29.4 percent from last year’s plate races.

While three of the four plate races this year ended with a last-lap pass (Austin Dillon in the Daytona 500, Erik Jones at Daytona in July and Aric Almirola at Talladega last weekend), not everyone may be willing to wait through the racing to those final laps.

With the 2019 rules package, NASCAR anticipates pack racing to remain key at Daytona and Talladega but Sunday’s race might force series officials to make some additional changes to ensure the pack is back next year.


Questions have been raised about how NASCAR officiated the end of the Truck and Cup races this weekend at Talladega.

Kurt Busch was critical of NASCAR’s decision. Had NASCAR called a caution for the crash in Turn 1 on the last lap, Busch likely would have won. Instead, he ran out of fuel and Aric Almirola won.

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief racing development officer, explained Monday on SirusXM NASCAR Radio how series officials made the call on if to throw the caution in either race.

“Our first job is to always make sure everybody is safe, and we felt we did that in this case,” O’Donnell said about letting the Cup race finish under green.

While each last-lap scenario presents different challenges, NASCAR must remain steadfast in following what O’Donnell said in terms of driver safety. That must be No. 1 regardless of it is the last lap at Talladega, the last lap of the Daytona 500 or the last lap of the championship race in Miami.

NASCAR must be consistent with that. And that may mean calling for a caution instead of a dramatic race to the finish line.


It won’t be next year but maybe someday GMS Racing likely will field a Cup team.

GMS Racing, owned by Maury Gallagher, was in talks with Furniture Row Racing earlier this year to purchase the team’s charter, align with Joe Gibbs Racing and move to Cup next season. It’s one of the reasons why the team, through Mike Beam, didn’t try to top Front Row Motorsports’ bid for BK Racing’s charter and equipment in a court-appointed auction in August.

After examining all the costs, Gallagher decided not to pursue the Furniture Row Racing charter and equipment.

“We’re still talking and thinking about it, but first things first, we’re trying to get through this year and do some good things, particularly winning the (Truck) championship,” Gallagher said after Timothy Peters won the Truck race at Talladega.

Spencer Gallagher called the deal not working out a “tempered disappointment” but added “we got into that deal and we realized that we were going to have to undertake some additional complications with it. More than anything, if and when we make the decision to go Cup racing, I’d like to think that if we have one true luxury it is that we get to choose when and where we get to do it, which means that we’re committed to only doing it if it can be done right.

“As Maury likes to say, there’s always another deal that comes along. Patience is our watchword for getting ourselves into Cup.”

 and on Facebook

Timothy Peters wins Truck race at Talladega after last-lap contact

Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
1 Comment

Contact on the final lap of the Fr8auctions 250 at Talladega Superspeedway between Timothy Peters and Noah Gragson sent one driver spinning and the other to victory lane.

Peters made contact with Gragson’s right rear quarter panel while battling for the lead, sending Gragson’s truck into the wall. Peters was ahead of the field as the caution waved to freeze the field to score the win.

“My spotter said clear coming down to the tri-oval and I just didn’t get cleared enough,” Peters said. “I had my teammate coming on the outside and had a good push … to the outside and it was just formed up quicker, better trucks, coming off of Turn 2. We’re coming down to the checkered flag and we’re trying to make the best of it. Noah is going for it, too. Was it a block? At that point it didn’t matter, I wasn’t going to lift. I hated the outcome that it was but it feels good to cross that finish line knowing we won that race.”

Myatt Snider finished second with David Gilliland third. Justin Haley, who was already locked into the Round of 6 with his win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, finished fourth. Wendell Chavous placed a career-best fifth in what he said would be his last series race.

Ben Rhodes and Stewart Friesen were eliminated from title contention.

Stage 1 and Stage 2 went caution-free with a few close calls. It boiled over in the final stage. On lap 59, Chris Fontaine changed lanes from the high side and came across the nose of Haley. Fontaine spun into Johnny Sauter and then shot back up the track. When the smoke cleared, 10 trucks were heavily damaged, including those of points contenders Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes. Also involved were Parker Kligerman, Spencer Gallagher, John Hunter Nemechek, Bo LeMastus and Justin Fontaine. The accident brought out a red flag that lasted 11 minutes, 42 seconds.

Gragson tweeted after the race that there were no hard feelings toward Peters.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Todd Gilliland

MORE: Click here for complete results
MORE: Click here for the complete points

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Wendell Chavous finished fifth to earn his first top 10 in 50 Truck races. … Bryan Dauzat (8th) scored his first top-10 finish in his fourth career start. … In his third career Truck race, Max Tullman scored his first top 10 (10th). His previous best was a 23rd at Chicagoland earlier this year.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Tanner Thorson (31st) got turned out of the draft with three laps remaining in Stage 2, collecting Brett Moffitt. Early in the final stage, he cut a tire and spun in a single-truck incident. … Making his fourth start of the season, Parker Kligerman (28th) pinballed his way through the Lap 59 accident and made heavy contact with the inside wall. … Coming off Turn 4, Todd Gilliland (20th) made contact with Enfinger with 11 laps remaining while battling for the lead. Gilliland made heavy contact with the inside wall.

QUOTE OF THE RACE: “That’s Talladega. That’s what we race here for: wild wrecks and crazy finishes. … We had a great first two segments and then got hooked in the right rear in that one,” Crafton said on Fox after being involved in a Lap 59 accident.

WHAT’S NEXT: Texas Roadhouse 200 at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 27 on Fox Sports 1.

David Gilliland wins pole for Truck Series race at Talladega

Dustin Long
Leave a comment

David Gilliland will start on the pole of Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Gilliland qualified first with a top speed of 180.570 mph. It is his second Truck Series pole in 14 starts. Both came this year (Daytona).

Gilliland is joined on the front row by Spencer Gallagher (180.550 mph).

Gilliland’s son, Todd Gilliland, qualified sixth for his first race on a superspeedway.

“It’s the most meaningful race I’ve ever raced and here we are on the pole,” David Gilliland told Fox Sports 2.

The top five is completed by Timothy Peters (180.489), playoff driver Grant Enfinger (180.183) and playoff driver Johnny Sauter (179.939).

NASCAR disallowed Bo LeMastus‘ second round time after he dipped below the yellow line on the frontstretch during his run. He will start 12th.

Where the remaining playoff drivers qualified:

Brett Moffitt – eighth

Matt Crafton – ninth

Stewart Friesen – 11th

Noah Gragson – 13th

Ben Rhodes – 14th

Justin Haley – 16th

Click here for starting lineup

 

 

 

 

Truck Series practice report from Talladega

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Camping World Truck Series hit the track for the first time in a month Friday for two practices sessions at Talladega Superspeedway.

Final Practice

Spencer Gallagher was fastest in final practice, posting a top speed of 180.928 mph while only making two laps around the 2.66-mile track.

The top five was completed by Grant Enfinger (180.553 mph), Todd Gilliland (180.366), Matt Crafton (179.480) and Jordan Anderson (179.168).

Only 26 drivers recorded a lap in the session.

Jamie Mosley, who was 25th fastest, recorded the most laps with 14.

There were no incidents in the session.

Click here for the practice report.

First practice

Justin Haley was fastest in the first session, posting a top speed of 193.494 mph.

He was followed by Spencer Gallagher (193.486 mph), NBCSN analyst and defending race winner Parker Kligerman (192.355), John Hunter Nemechek (192.027) and Johnny Sauter (190.947).

Haley also recorded the most laps in the session with 25 and the best 10-lap average at 186.597 mph.

There were no incidents in the session.

Qualifying for Saturday’s race is set for 5:35 p.m. ET.

Click here for the first practice report.