Spencer Gallagher announced Friday at Kansas Speedway he will retire from full-time NASCAR competition at the end of the 2018 season. He will take on a managerial role within GMS Racing and said the company will field an Xfinity car in 2019.
This is a surprise announcement, Spencer Galapagos is only 28 years old, will be 29 shortly after the season. He’s a young guy by NASCAR standards but maybe hasn’t had the results he was hoping for. Gallagher did emphasize this retirement was not forced by health issues or his positive drug test from the spring. It was merely a desire to spend more time with his family and friends.
Gallagher did say GMS will continue to field a “formidable” trucks program and an Xfinity team next season. As for the driver of the Xfinity car, he didn’t say. So we’ve come up with a list of drivers they should look at.
Ross Chastain: In three races for Chip Ganassi Racing this year Ross has a win, a second place finish and he scared Kevin Harvick out of the Xfinity Series. He’s got the speed now he just needs the team. It sounds like Ganassi are trying everything to get him in the #42 Xfinity car next year. If that falls through Spencer should give Ross a call.
Kyle Benjamin: The part-time Joe Gibbs Xfinity driver has two Top-5 finishes in 8 starts. He doesn’t have money to run a full season but if Allegiant keeps sponsoring the #23 Kyle is a guy to take a look at.
Austin Theriault: The 2017 ARCA champ has the skill set to succeed in NASCAR he just needs the right opportunity. Like Benjamin, he doesn’t bring money with him.
Josh Berry: I’m stretching here but the guy can flat out drive. He ran really well in his 4 starts for JRM between 2015 and 2016. It’d be cool to see a relative unknown get the opportunity.
Ryan Reed: He’s losing his funding from Lilly and will be out of a ride at the end of the year. He isn’t a can’t miss talent but he’s a steady driver for the most part. If GMS want a low teens finisher this is the guy.
John Hunter Nemechek: If Ross Chastain does get the Ganassi ride for 2019 JHN would likely look elsewhere for employment. He’s a young talent that still has plenty of development left in him. Why not?
Landon Cassill: Because why not? He has the skills to get the job done just never the equipment. Slide Landon in for a season.
Honestly, this is the most intriguing Xfinity silly season seat left. It will be super interesting to see what kind of route they take here and who they pick.
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