Sometimes in racing, being in a top ride can work against you. In this day and age, you don’t get a lot of time to hone your skills. If you rise too quickly or end up in a top ride, if you don’t win soon enough, the “bust” label gets attached to the name all too quickly.
Kyle Busch became the all-time winnigest NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver on Saturday in Atlanta. Despite that, Busch issued a warning to one of his drivers that pilots a truck for him in the series.
See, with how many other Toyota developmental drivers that are waiting in the wings, Busch knows that you don’t get too many opportunities to perform at this level. With as good as Kyle Busch Motorsports has been, if you can’t compete early and often, you won’t get many other chances to do so.
It’s clear now, Busch hasn’t been too happy with how Todd Gilliland has raced in his limited time with KBM. Gilliland, has made just 25 starts in the series – six of which in 2017, 17 more last year and two this season. In those races, Gilliland has yet to win and has only scored six top five finishes.
Busch, thinks that despite some respectable finishes, that Gilliland should be faring better.
“I don’t know how many times last year we were in meetings and I was just yelling at him about let’s go,” Busch said this past weekend in Atlanta. “Our stuff is not that slow. You have got to get up on top of the wheel and make it happen. Obviously we kind of proved that here.”
On the final restart, Busch and his other teammate Harrison Burton were 1-2. Burton, could have finished in the top five but the outside line on the 1.54-mile Georgia race track hampered any efforts to move forward. Burton, was a sitting duck. Meanwhile, Gilliland never was a factor and finished ninth.
“Todd (Gilliland) we certainly have to work with him and continue to bring him up and get him filled in on what it takes to be fast at these places,” Busch continued. “We’ll hopefully be able to get him places because you know his career is on the line. You don’t get very many chances at this and I’m sure that we’ll hopefully be able to get him going better. He should have run two races last year, no question about it, but obviously it just didn’t happen. He’s got to show up this year and make it happen.
“There were times last year where Todd wrecked every week and we were like dude you got to just slow down, you’ve got to figure out how to finish. To finish first, first you must finish, right?”
Busch said that with the Toyota drivers coming up, you don’t get many chances to prove your worth.
“If you want to be a star in this sport, you better perform in KBM stuff – if you don’t sorry man, there’s not much left for you.”