NASCAR: Sprint Cup vet David Gilliland to run Truck Series opener at Daytona

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David Gilliland’s Daytona Speedweeks will get busier now that he’s set to take part in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ season opener on Feb. 20.

Gilliland, who drives full-time for Front Row Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series, will seek to make only his fourth career Truck Series start in the NextEra Energy Resources 250. He will drive the No. 92 Ricky Benton Racing Ford F-150.

In a release, Gilliland noted that colleagues at Roush-Yates Motors and RBR put him in touch with Benton when word got out that he needed a driver for the Daytona truck race.

“With me running a full-time season with Front Row in Cup, it was important that any opportunity to run in any other series be with a Ford team,” Gilliland said. “Ricky actually called me when I was out of the country on vacation, so we played a bit of phone tag before finally putting the deal together.”

Gilliland has also tweeted:

Benton himself says that his team was “very fortunate” to get Gilliland’s services for one of the Truck Series’ biggest events of the year.

“Everyone in the garage goes into Daytona with a lot of optimism and high expectations,” Benton said. “Sometimes, those expectations are justified and sometimes not. We have high expectations and I believe in my heart that we can win with the combination we have put together.”

Mike Hester will serve as Gilliland’s crew chief on the No. 92 Ford, which has support from BTS Tire and Wheel Distributors, Goodyear FleetHQ, Wynn’s, and Tim Cooksey Oil Company.

RBR ran eight events in the Truck Series last year with four drivers: Ross Chastain, Austin Hill, Corey LaJoie, and Scott Riggs. All of them competed for RBR in two races each.

Karam, Daly get IndyCar rides with Carlin for Iowa

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NEWTON, Iowa – Sage Karam returns for the second-straight race and Conor Daly is back for another race with Carlin Racing at this weekend’s Iowa 300 NTT IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway.

For Karam, it’s his third start of the 2019 season and his second straight with Carlin. In his five starts at Iowa Speedway dating back to 2010, Karam has never finished outside of the top three, recording four wins (USF2000 – 2010, Indy Pro 2000 – 2011 and 2012, Indy Lights – 2013) and scoring his first NTT IndyCar Series podium in 2015 with a third-place finish.

“I’m really excited to be back again this weekend with Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for the Iowa 300. Iowa Speedway has always been a good track for me in the past, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to work there,” Karam said. “Coming off of a very productive weekend in Toronto, I’m looking forward to applying everything I’ve learned and continuing to work with the team to get the best results possible. A huge thank you to everyone at Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for a great opportunity to race at one of my favorite tracks.”

Daly is back in a second Carlin entry. Earlier this year, the popular driver finished 11th for Carlin in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8. At Iowa, he will drive the team’s No. 23 Gallagher Chevrolet.

Daly finished 10th in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge for Andretti Autosport.

Daly raced at Iowa in 2016 for Dale Coyne Racing (finishing 21st) and in 2017 for A.J. Foyt Racing (finishing 19th).

The combination gives Carlin two more drivers to gather additional feedback on the car. Max Chilton remains the team’s primary driver but announced recently that he will forego all oval races to concentrate on street and road courses.

That created opportunities for Karam and Daly.

“We were very impressed with Sage’s steady progression throughout the Toronto race weekend and his willingness to learn and adapt,” said Carlin Team Principal Trevor Carlin. “The fact that he hadn’t been on a street course since 2015 and was still able to come right out of the gate confident and constantly improving every session was extremely impressive.

“The SmartStop Self Storage Chevrolet looked great out on track and their group has been a pleasure to work with, so we couldn’t be more pleased to have them back this weekend in Iowa. Sage has done really well in Iowa in the past, so hopefully we can use his experience and our past success at Iowa Speedway to come away with a good result for the team and our partners at SmartStop Self Storage.”

The Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway will take place on Saturday, July 20th at 7:15 pm ET and will be televised on NBCSN.