By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
Before the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season began, Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced that Todd Gilliland would make his Series debut at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 17. KBM also announced that team owner and 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch would compete in five races. That will now change as Pedigree and Banfield Pet Hospital have signed on as the primary sponsor.
Pedigree will sponsor Gilliland for six races while Banfield Pet Hospital will sponsor Busch for two races. With the No. 51 ‘All-Star’ Truck’s driver lineup completely full, KBM will field a fourth entry, the No. 46, for two of Gilliland’s races and two of Busch’s.
Gilliland will drive the No. 46 Pedigree Tundra at Dover International Speedway on June 2 and Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 28. The Pedigree will also sponsor the teenager’s previously announced four-race schedule in the No. 51 Tundra.
His first race in the No. 51 will come at Gateway Motorsports Park (June 17), Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Sept. 3), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Sept. 23), and Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 10.
In addition to Gilliland’s Truck Series schedule, he is also competing full-time in both the NASCAR K&N Pro East and West Series schedules. He was the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion, and currently has four wins and five top fives in five races this season. In the East Series, Gilliland has three top fives and five Top 10s in five starts this season.
In addition to the four races remaining on his five-race schedule in the No. 51 Tundra, Busch will add Kentucky Speedway (July 6) and Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug.16 in the No. 46 Banfield Pet Hospital Tundra.
Busch noted that he was excited to expand his relationship with Pedigree and Banfield.
“The Pedigree brand and the Banfield Pet Hospital brand have been with me for several years in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, so it means a lot to me that we can extend our relationship to the Truck Series with KBM,” said Busch. “Todd Gilliland is an exceptional young talent and I expect great things from him in the Pedigree Tundra during his six races, while I’m hoping to get the Banfield Pet Hospital Tundra in Victory Lane for my races with them at Kentucky and Bristol.”
Gilliland was also proud to have a family connection with his sponsor.
“I’m proud to have a sponsor as well-known as Pedigree join us at Kyle Busch Motorsports this season,” Gilliland said. “There’s a family connection with Pedigree, as they were the sponsor on my Dad’s (David Gilliland) car in 2006. It’s a great feeling to know that they have confidence in me and this race team. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get behind the wheel, earn solid finishes and hopefully get Pedigree to Victory Lane this season.”