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Major news broke on May 2 in the NASCAR Cup Series when Legacy Motor Club announced that it would be switching manufacturers from Chevrolet to Toyota beginning with the 2024 season.
While there are several questions to be answered on the Cup side of things, one interesting question that needs to be asked is how the team’s Craftsman Truck Series endeavor will be impacted.
GMS Racing is operated independently from Legacy Motor Club, but team owner Maury Gallagher is also part-owner of Legacy after buying into Richard Petty Motorsports for the 2022 season and renaming the team Petty GMS Motorsports.
Richard Petty Motorsports team owner Richard Petty did not buy into Gallagher’s Truck Series team, nor did Jimmie Johnson when he bought into Petty GMS to create Legacy Motor Club. Now with the manufacturer change looming, it’s interesting to see what will happen with Gallagher’s truck team.
It seems as if GMS Racing will also make the switch to Toyota with Legacy to keep the race shop consistent with manufacturers — although independent of each other, GMS and Legacy are run out of the same shop. But will the switch affect its driver lineup in 2024?
It seemed that GMS had its Truck lineup set for at least this season and next season – rookies Rajah Caruth and Daniel Dye have been learning the ropes and leaning on their veteran teammate Grant Enfinger. However, while Enfinger is no stranger to Toyota as a former driver of ThorSport Racing, Dye and Caruth have traditionally been with Chevy.
When both drivers raced in the ARCA Menards Series, they drove Chevys. Dye was already with GMS, and Caruth drove Chevys with Rev Racing. It seems that perhaps Dye may be a GMS loyalist, as he’s driven for GMS his whole career (except 2020 and 2021, when he drove for Ben Kennedy – except Kennedy was a former GMS driver, so it almost feels like the same thing), and will make the switch with GMS, should it go to Toyota.
However, Caruth’s career might be in limbo. When Caruth made select Truck Series starts last season, he did so with Spire Motorsports, a Chevy team. Both last season and this season, he has made select Xfinity Series starts with Alpha Prime Racing, another Chevy team. Caruth might be more of a Chevrolet driver than a GMS driver.
In fact, when discussing his contact with Ty Majeski during the truck race at Kansas Speedway on May 6 with Frontstretch, Caruth hinted at the end of the video that he doesn’t know what he’s doing for 2024 yet.
If Caruth sticks with Chevy and leaves GMS after this season, the likely option is that he just pulls the trigger running full-time in the Xfinity Series with Alpha Prime in 2024. Or perhaps a team like Kyle Busch Motorsports nabs him for another full-time season in the Truck Series and puts him in the Richard Childress Racing pipeline.
Should GMS switch to Toyota, it also expands the possibility of Toyota drivers in the truck series. When Kyle Busch left for Chevy at the end of 2022, Toyota was at a great crossroads with essentially no teams running its truck. ThorSport switched to Ford, and it seemed all hope was lost. Then, David Gilliland Racing announced a rebrand to TRICON Garage, and switched to Toyotas – a move that now sees the team fielding as many as five trucks on a given race weekend.
Now, Toyota’s getting even more help with GMS making the switch. It gives more drivers an opportunity to become a part of the Toyota pipeline. Toyota Cup drivers looking for more experience at certain tracks have more options to drop down if they need to.
Toyota ARCA drivers are also paying attention closely to what GMS does. If it does switch to Toyota, it could mean that Jesse Love gets a better shot to go truck racing, or perhaps Connor Mosack finally gets a full-time truck opportunity. This opportunity is only greater if Caruth ends up leaving GMS – GMS will be in need of a replacement, and Love or Mosack could be great candidates for the ride.
It seems like a repeat of just last year with Busch – a manufacturer shakeup only means that it’s an all-out scramble to try and retain or sign drivers heading into the following season. Maybe GMS moving to Toyota means another team decides to switch manufacturers to Chevy in reaction, much like TRICON to KBM.
Silly season is off to a very hot start. And the wildest part? It’s only May.
About the author
Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. He co-authors Only Yesterday (Wednesdays) and Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the site's primary Truck Series reporter and writer, and contributes to SRX coverage, too. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is currently pursuing his master of journalism at Temple University. He is a theatre actor and fight choreographer-in-training outside of Frontstretch. He is a loyal fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Carolina Panthers, still hopeful for a championship at some point in his lifetime.
You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.
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