Rookies meet the Veterans in GMS Racing’s 2017 driver line up

In this article, Alex Gallacher looks at the diver line up of GMS Racing in 2017 and at the fate of their #23 machine.

0
Johnny Sauter (21) GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado practices for the 20th DC Solar 350 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada.

GMS Racing came off its best season yet. With six race wins coming from four different drivers, GMS Racing cemented itself as a force to be reckoned with in the Camping World Truck Series. GMS Racing also went on to claim their first driver’s championship with Johnny Sauter‘s third place finish at Homestead- Miami. The team’s other full time driver Ben Kennedy scored his first career win at Bristol. That being said with Spencer Gallagher moving to the team’s brand new Xfinity series program that now leaves three rides that need filling in 2017. Sauter announced his 2017 return to defend his title with funding coming from Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff and Allegiant Airlines. Two drivers have been announced so far that will occupy rides, here are the two young guns ready to suit up for full seasons in the Truck Series.

Rookies meet the Veteran in GMS Racing’s 2017 driver line up

Kaz Grala

Grala got his start racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, making his debut at New Smyrna Speedway at the age of 14. In his Pro Series career he wouldn’t notch any wins but would take home an impressive 12 top five finishes and 24 top ten finishes. He would also race in two NASCAR Pinty’s Series events and the 2016 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Grala made his Truck Series debut at Martinsville driving the #33 truck one occupied by Grant Enfinger, he would end up finishing 31st. Grala didn’t have too much luck in his first nine starts, finishing outside the top 20 four times. Grala did however manage to score his first top ten at Gateway coming home in eighth. Grala will pilot the #33 Chevy Silverado in 2017 with crew chief Jerry Baxter joining the team from KBM. Grala looks to have better luck in 2017.

Justin Haley

Haley is the nephew of NASCAR Owner Todd Braun. He made had a very busy 2014 season running races in north K&N Pro Series and the ARCA Racing Series. He made his full-time debut in 2015 in the K&N East. Out all his starts in the three series combined Haley took home three wins, 25 top five finishes and 35 top ten finishes. He also won the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship. Haley made his Camping World Truck Series debut in 2015 at Bristol finishing 14th in a truck prepared by his uncle. He would go on to score his first top ten at Phoenix the same year. Haley ran three Truck Series races in 2016, finishing outside the top 20 in the three events. Haley will pilot the #24 Chevy Silverado in 2017 with crew chief Kevin Bellicourt coming over from Thorsport. Sponsors have not yet been announced.

The fate of the #23 truck

As Spencer Gallagher departs for the GMS Xfinity team, this leaves a spot open in the #23 ride. It it unknown as to whether or not GMS Racing will simple close that team of find some drivers to race it in 2017. If the team does choose to run the #23 they do have some great potential drivers. Ben Kennedy, Grant Enfinger, Shane Lee and Hunter Baize could be potential drivers for that team. Kennedy won at Bristol last season and could bring over the sponsor, Jacob Companies. Enfinger won Talladega and has been in good standing with the team and initially intended to run full time in 2016. Lee raced one event last season for GMS and has the sponsor, Leeboy. Baize is young rookie in the K&N Pro Series and could be a hidden gem for the team. Now nothing says that these drivers can’t just split the #23 next season and that seems to be the most likely option, but team owner Maurice Gallagher Jr used his own company Allegiant Airlines as a sponsor last year. For now the fate of the #23 truck remains like its sponsor – up in the air.

GMS Racing is team that really came out of now where. Rising from the ashes of the now defunct Turner Scott Motorsports, GMS Racing is establishing themselves as the go to Chevy team. Winning their first race in 2015 and first championship last year, this team’s quick progress is one of the reasons a lot of drivers want to race for them. Look out for GMS Racing to be force in 2017.
Main Photo

LEAVE A REPLY