Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Knoxville Raceway will see two one-off drivers in full-time trucks, interestingly for both paternal reasons. As Austin Wayne Self skips his second straight race to focus on his newborn daughter and cede the #22 AM Racing Chevrolet Silverado to Brett Moffitt, Todd Gilliland will drive the #17 David Gilliland Racing Ford F-150 owned by his father.
Self missed last week’s race at Sonoma Raceway to be with his wife Jennifer as she had their daughter Zepplyn Jane, who was born on 10 June. However, the team opted not to hire a substitute driver and skipped the westward trip entirely. While Self will once again be out for Knoxville, his team intends to return with Moffitt behind the wheel.
Moffitt, the 2018 Truck champion and current Xfinity Series regular, débuted the team’s part-time #37 at the 2021 Knoxville race but finished thirty-eighth due to a crash.
A team statement released Tuesday added Self plans to return to the driver’s seat “no later than the July 9th race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course,” which means the Nashville Superspeedway event on 24 June is still uncertain. As the Xfinity Series also races at Nashville, it is likely the team entrusts the #22 to Moffitt once again.
Self skipping another race also leaves his playoff eligibility in doubt, especially as the team clarified it “will not request any further driver championship waivers from NASCAR.” The sanctioning body frequently provides waivers for hardships like injury or suspension, though it is not immediately known if another will be granted for multiple weeks of emphasising parenthood.
While Self focuses on being a dad, Gilliland joins his dad’s team for Knoxville. Currently a rookie in the Cup Series for Front Row Motorsports, Gilliland ran full-time in the Trucks from 2019 to 2021, including the last two years for FRM. He finished fourth in the 2021 Knoxville race.
FRM and DGR maintain a close alliance as the lone full-time Ford operations in the Truck Series. The former’s Truck programme is headed by Zane Smith in the #38, who is currently third in points and the only driver with multiple race wins on the season.
Meanwhile, the #17 has been split between multiple drivers including fellow Cup rookie Harrison Burton, Riley Herbst, Taylor Gray, and Ryan Preece. The truck sits twelfth in the owner points. Burton piloted the #17 at the Bristol Dirt Race in March to a twenty-third.