Deegan joins ThorSport, team switches to Ford for 2023 - Engine Builder Magazine

Deegan joins ThorSport, team switches to Ford for 2023

Hailie Deegan will join ThorSport Racing for the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, the team announced Thursday.

Along with Deegan’s arrival comes a switch in manufacturers for ThorSport in a return to Ford, heading back to the Blue Oval after spending the last two years with Toyota. ThorSport, owned by Duke and Rhonda Thorson, fielded Fords from 2018-2020 after a six-year tenure with Toyota from 2012-2017.

“With 28 years in the Truck Series, we look forward to the partnership with Ford Performance in NASCAR,” Duke Thorson said in a release. “Our pursuit of wins and championships remains at the forefront of our objectives.”

ThorSport collected the 2019 series title with veteran Matt Crafton in addition to five victories under the Ford banner in its prior three-year partnership and is welcomed back for the upcoming season.

“We’re happy to welcome ThorSport back to our NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series program,” Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports, said in a release. “Duke has assembled one of the best organizations in the series with a driver lineup that is filled with youth and experience. We celebrated a championship together just a few years ago and know they have the potential to do it again in 2023.”

Deegan, who transitions to the No. 13 Ford F-150 in 2023, spent each of the past two seasons competing for David Gilliland Racing in the No. 1 Ford, scoring a career-best sixth-place finish in October at Talladega Superspeedway. That performance bettered her previous personal record of seventh that she earned in August 2021 at Worldwide Technology Raceway at Gateway. Deegan netted a career-best two top 10s in 2022, ending the year 21st in the final driver standings.

The 21-year-old native of Temecula, California, joins a ThorSport program stacked with veteran experience. Three-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton returns to the No. 88 Ford for his 23rd season, his 22nd with ThorSport, with the lone exception coming in 2004 for Kevin Harvick, Inc.

Also returning in 2023 for ThorSport are 2021 champion Ben Rhodes and 2022 Championship 4 contender Ty Majeski. Rhodes was victorious in April 2022 at Bristol Dirt, while Majeski netted his first two career wins at Bristol Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway, respectively.

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