Kyle Busch Motorsports has announced that Wes Ward will serve as Todd Gilliland‘s full-time crew chief in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series for the rest of this season effective this weekend at Pocono Raceway.
The news comes with three races left in the regular season and with Gilliland currently eighth in points standings outside the playoff picture. Gilliland has no wins and two top fives through 13 races.
The permanent assignment for Ward comes after the team initiated a shuffle of their crew chiefs in early June, with Ward serving as Gilliland’s interim crew chief for the June 7 race at Texas Motor Speedway. Ward took over for Marcus Richmond. Gilliland started from the pole and led 31 laps before he wrecked out.
Michael Shelton then served as the interim crew chief in the next four races. Gilliland did not lead a lap in those events and had a best finish of second at Gateway.
Ward previously served as a shop foreman for KBM beginning in 2015. He has 17 starts in the Truck Series as crew chief, including two wins with Kyle Busch in 2016. He also has 302 starts as crew chief in the Xfinity Series from 1996-2015. His lone win came in 2003 with Kasey Kahne at Miami.
Kyle Busch Motorsports has announced changes to its crew chief lineup for the next three Gander Outdoors Truck Series races beginning this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
Marcus Richmond will move from Todd Gilliland‘s No. 4 truck to the No. 46 team for its next two events: at Iowa Speedway with Riley Herbst and at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway with Chandler Smith.
Wes Ward, a shop foreman at KBM, will serve as Gilliland’s interim crew chief this week at Texas.
Richmond has been Gilliland’s crew chief since last year. Through eight races this season the No. 4 team has just one top five (Kansas) and three top 10s, with two finishes in seventh. Gilliland has led only eight laps, including seven in the last race at Charlotte.
Michael Shelton, who served as the crew chief for the No. 46 team in its limited schedule this season, will serve as interim crew chief for Gilliland at Gateway and Iowa.
The No. 46 truck has made only three starts, with Herbst earning a best finish of ninth at Kansas.
Justin Allgaier‘s win in last weekend’s Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway will not qualify him for the playoffs after a violation was found on his No. 7 Chevrolet after the race.
NASCAR stated in its penalty report Wednesday that the truck trailing arm spacers and pinion angle shims were not in complete contact with corresponding mating surface.
As a result, crew chief Jason Burdett has been fined $25,000 and suspended from the next two points races for the L1 infraction. Allgaier has also been docked 25 points and the team loses 25 owner points.
Allgaier was second in the season standings with 368 points. He is now tied with Daniel Hemric for fourth with 343 points.
NASCAR confirmed Allgaier will keep his $100,000 Dash 4 Cash earnings.
JR Motorsports will not appeal the penalty. Burdett’s replacement will be determined next week.
JRM released the following statement from General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller.
“As a highly competitive race team that challenges for wins each and every weekend, we’re deeply disappointed and frustrated in today’s ruling. We strive to produce race victories for JR Motorsports’ partners, fans and employees while adhering to the rulebook. To that end, the No. 7 team put on a winning performance in Saturday’s race and received damage on the last lap that we believe contributed to this infraction. We will never fault ourselves for that.”
Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 team was also hit with a penalty for the splitter on Jeb Burton‘s car not meeting specification during inspection Friday. Crew chief Nick Harrison has been fined $10,000 and car chief Michael Scearce has been suspended from the next points race for the L1 violation.
Burton finished 12th in the race.
In the Camping World Truck Series, Todd Gilliland‘s crew chief, Wes Ward, was fined $2,500 for one unsecured lug nut on the No. 4 Toyota.