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Why Would GMS Racing Close Their Doors?

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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To the tune of sadness from many in the NASCAR industry, GMS Racing is closing its Craftsman Truck Series operation at the end of the season. While a surprise to some, there are some reasons to speculate as to why GMS would close their doors after this season, and we are here to explain why.

The Toyota Conundrum

Maury Gallagher, who owns GMS Racing, also partners with Jimmie Johnson to run the Legacy Motor Club Cup Series team. That team recently made the move to Toyota beginning in 2024, and that comes with some issues on the Truck Series side.

Toyota already has its hands full in the Craftsman Truck Series Tricon Garage, and smaller operations like Stewart Friesen’s 52 car and Hattori Racing Enterprises. It’s already a full group, and Toyota’s driver development ladder is already pretty well set with Tricon Garage and the other smaller teams.

Is there really a place for GMS in the Toyota landscape further down the pipeline? Some may point to the Xfinity Series as a place where GMS could go and find a home, but that costs more money than a Truck Series operation, and Toyota already has Xfinity teams sorted out through Joe Gibbs Racing.

Even then, it does seem odd that Toyota did not find some place for GMS somewhere. If they want to expand at the Cup Series level, then it may be worthwhile to expand in the lower series to widen their development net. However, the Toyota situation is not the only reason why this move could have happened.

The Cup Series Performance Factor

The priorities have changed for Maury Gallagher over the last few years. He has gone from solely a Truck Series and/or Xfinity Series owner to partnering with Jimmie Johnson on a Cup Series team. That team is now Gallagher’s main focus, and that team is simply not performing right now.

Motorsports and sports in general is a results-oriented business, and if your best asset is not getting results, then you need to make some drastic moves for that to happen. It would make some sense for Gallagher to pool the resources he currently uses for the Truck Series team and pool that into the Cup Series team for the time being.

Legacy Motor Club has struggled massively this season. The 43 car sits 28th in owners points out of 36 chartered teams and the 42 car sits 33rd in owners points. That team needs some major changes in order to be successful.

The move to Toyota is one major change, and that is more resources potentially given to the team. Now that Gallagher has one less race team to worry about, he can focus more time, attention, and money on Legacy Motor Club.

Neither of these were officially announced as the reasons why GMS decided to shut down at the end of the season, but they are theories. At the end of the day, motorsports is a business, and the decision made was seemingly a business decision.

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts