G2G Racing embroiled in Sonoma fiasco with Travis McCullough

What was supposed to be an dream turned into a nightmare for Travis McCullough when his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series début at Sonoma Raceway was aborted once he was already at the track due to a litany of issues surrounding him and his employer G2G Racing. As fans and media seek to find the full context, matters surrounding the team seemed to grow more questionable.

McCullough, primarily a short track racer, joined G2G for the Sonoma race in what would have been his maiden NASCAR start; he was assigned to the #47 while fellow Truck Series newcomer Mason Filippi was in the team’s #46. In an interview with Matt Burroughs of TehBen, McCullough explained G2G provided an especially appealing chance to race due to its more-than-affordable “crash clause”, which is charged to cover for damages in the event of a wreck. From there, however, things began to fall apart.

According to McCullough, G2G gave the impression of being shorthanded on crewmen, prompting him to bring his own team to assist. After a delay to the team’s haulers arriving at the raceway (along with just five employees), McCullough discovered the truck was unfinished with multiple missing or uninstalled components, prompting NASCAR officials to point out it could not undergo technical inspection before practice.

Further exacerbating matters was a delay in receiving his drug test results from NASCAR and its testing conductor Drug Free Sport. McCullough explained he did his test a week before the race as permitted, but inquiries to NASCAR as race day loomed were met with comments about holdups at Drug Free Sport. The same problem befell Colin Garrett, which prevented him from driving the #30 On Point Motorsports truck and placed Josh Bilicki in the vehicle.

With the results ultimately not arriving until well after race day, McCullough was formally disallowed to compete; per a report from LASTCAR’s Brock Beard, G2G tried to get Keith McGee in the #47 but did not have enough time to make the switch. Matters did not seem to improve for the team on the other truck as Filippi was replaced by Stefan Parsons for the race. Parsons retired after just nine laps with an oil cooler issue.

The McCullough saga continued as he recalled the timeline to those like Burroughs who wrote, “Unconfirmed statements are circulating about future G2G rental commitments being dissolved, and the future of G2G looks very much in doubt to some as things sit in response to Sonoma. What was once the careful back room mutterings of jaded industry lifers has the opportunity to become a talking point on the greater public stage.”

Credit: Travis McCullough

G2G Racing, overseen by owner/driver Tim Viens, is a new operation for the 2022 season but has been the target of scrutiny as its inaugural campaign continued. The team began 2022 with hopes of running two full-time trucks with the #46 and #47, which is already a major endeavour for a relatively small organisation, but seemed to know what it was doing by adding rookie Matt Jaskol and 2016 Truck champion Johnny Sauter to the driver lineup along with full sponsorship of Auto Parts 4 Less.

However, noncompetitive performances among other woes led to Jaskol and Auto Parts 4 Less being dropped hours before the Martinsville race in April. In a statement made shortly after the news, Jaskol claimed the team had sought to rework the agreement with him and his sponsor, but failed negotiations led to their departure. Viens defended the move as AP4Less being unable to complete its payment to the team by the original 1 June deadline. The #47 also disappeared after attempting the first four races, failing to qualify for two.

The team, including Viens and crew chief Ryan Bell, eventually gave their side of the story.

“​In early March of 2022, G2G Racing entered into a driving contract with Travis McCullough to drive the No. 47 at Sonoma Raceway on June 11th,” began a statement from the team released Friday. “It was understood what the driver and team responsibilities were. The driver was made aware of NASCAR requirements, meeting all medical rules provided by the sport. Including a negative drug screen, prior to the race.

“Travis made G2G Racing aware that he waited until the week of the race to take the test. G2G Racing arrived in Sonoma with trucks and team, to learn that the results had not been reported to NASCAR. They (NASCAR) have a very strict policy for Rookie Drivers, that if they do not practice, they will not allow the driver to qualify and race. Travis had not received his results before practice, which forced G2G Racing to withdraw the No. 47 from the event.”

“I feel sorry for Travis in this situation. It is very unfortunate, as I was looking forward to working with him at Sonoma,” said Bell. “Travis has stated to multiple news sources that the truck was not prepared for the race. We, the team, were ready to practice, qualify, and race. As part of this sport, unpredictable situations arise. I wanted to make sure G2G Racing tried to help the sponsors in attendance that weekend.”

Viens added that Tim Silva, crew chief of the #46 truck, invited the primary and associate sponsors to pit road for the race, in which accepted and had an amazing experience. I instructed Silva to get their contact information and we would place them on our trucks at a later date at no additional cost.”

In spite of any controversies surrounding the team, G2G is set to run Saturday’s race with another Truck débutant in Bryson Mitchell.

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