It’s not even halfway through the year and it appears that “silly season” has already begun. In a surprise move, Nicole Behar is now out at David Gilliland Racing.
Cole Timm had been scheduled to drive the DGR No. 97 this Saturday in the CARS Tour event at Southern National Motorsports Park (NC), but that event has been postponed due to a poor forecast.
At the time of publication, it is unknown what racing plans Behar has for the remainder of the year. Speed51.com, powered by JEGS, contacted the Nicole Behar Racing Facebook page and our interview request was declined at this time. The person who did respond offered this:
“All we can say at this point was that it obviously wasn’t working out.”
Behar’s best finish with DGR was a 14th-place run at Southern National in the season opener for the CARS Tour in April. She had attempted racing four events for the DGR Super Late Model program up until this point. Behar hails from Spokane, Washington.
Derek Smith is the crew chief for the No. 97 car for David Gilliland Racing; he echoed Behar’s sentiments.
“Things weren’t working out on their end so we just had to part ways,” said Smith. “We wish them the best in their future deal, but things just weren’t working out. We wanted to see her do well and get competitive throughout the year and keep working. Things didn’t work out, but you’ve just got to keep progressing.”
As to whom will be in the ride the remainder of the season, that seems to be in question at this time. Cole Timm was scheduled to be, at this time, a temporary solution to a vacant seat at DGR.
“I think people know that’s a Toyota deal with that car and all. Really, up until this week, we really didn’t know who was going to be in the car. We got a call from Toyota Monday to put Cole in the car,” explained Smith. “Going forward (it’s) whatever they want to do. They haven’t really set any plans in stone about how many races he’ll (Cole) run for us or if it will just be a one off deal.”
Cole Timm won the CARS Tour Super Late Model title a year ago with a single victory while racing his own equipment. Most recently, Timm had wrecked his own car in the CARS Tour event at Hickory, a race he finished 19th in.
After learning of Behar’s departure from the Gilliland team, Timm said his uncle inquired about the seat and was able to get him into the car for, at this time, one race.
“Part of the reason was my car was going to be rushed,” Timm told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It wasn’t going to be fully ready for Southern National because it got so torn up at Hickory. Another reason is the DGR cars have run really well this year, especially (Raphael) Lessard’s car. I figured let’s give it a shot and see if we can’t improve on where we’re running.”
Timm currently sits fourth in the CARS Tour Super Late Model points standings, 22 points behind Lessard, who drives the DGR No. 99. Lessard and DGR are the most recent winners in the CARS Tour SLM division. The 14 year-old Lessard has several more races in that ride with DGR this year.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR