David Gilliland embraces new opportunity with Toyota Racing and TRICON Garage

David Gilliland embraces new opportunity with Toyota Racing and TRICON Garage
Lee Spencer

MOORESVILLE, N.C.--Toyota Racing Development confirmed its new partnership with David Gilliland on Thursday.

The new collaboration will be rebranded as TRICON Garage and debut at Daytona International Speedway in February 2023.

TRICON Garage will feature three full-time Craftsman Truck Series teams, a part-time truck squad, and an ARCA Menards Series effort.

“Toyota is pleased to rejoin TRICON with this expanded partnership,” said David Wilson, president, TRD. “We are excited for this new opportunity for our Toyota development drivers and partners to experience TRICON’s success and winning culture. The Truck Series is very important to Toyota, and we know TRICON is going to continue to deliver for us as we begin our 20th season in the series.”

For the past five seasons, David Gilliland has competed in both the truck and ARCA Menard’s Series. When the company debuted in 2018, DGR established its program as part of the Toyota footprint. This newest alliance brings the company full circle.

“It's a really, really big deal,” Gilliand said. “We've been at this a long time and we've set some pretty high goals for ourselves. This partnership is definitely going to help take us to the next level. To have the confidence of TRD and Toyota in us, and what we're doing, is super, super exciting. I know that's kind of a word that kind of gets used too often, but it's the best way to describe it right now.

“We've worked really hard. To have them have the confidence in us to make this transition and invest in us and our future—and in our new name, TRICON Garage, it's a lot. The drivers are motivated. And we're counting on it to put us in position to be a championship-caliber team each and every week.”

Corey Heim will join Tricon’s lineup for 2023. The 20-year-old Marietta, Georgia native will pilot the No. 11 Toyota Tundra. Heim won two truck races running a part-time schedule this season and currently leads the rookie-of-the-year contest. This marks Heim’s first opportunity to compete for the truck championship.

Tanner Gray continues his run with the No. 15 team. The 23-year-old from Artesia, N.M., has been a fixture with David Gilliand Racing for the past four seasons. He is currently seventh in the truck series standings. Gray became the youngest NHRA Pro Stock champion before taking on the stock car challenge.

After a successful run with crew chief Chad Johnston in the ARCA Menard’s Series, Taylor Gray will graduate to full-time truck competition next March at Circuit of the Americas after turning 18. Gray, 17, ran a limited truck schedule this year while racing—and winning—in all three ARCA tours.

Gilliland, 46, competed for 12 seasons on the NASCAR Cup tour before turning his focus to team ownership. The second-generation racer has been impressed by Justin Marks's marketing of Trackhouse. Gilliland felt the time was right to rebrand DGR under the TRICON moniker with the vision he and co-owner Johnny Gray have for the future. The “TRI” is representative of the organization’s intent to run for three titles—driver, owner, manufacturer—as well as being a triple threat through its industrial resources—racing, fabrication, transportation—throughout the 60,000 square foot complex.

“Our goal in the truck series is to create future racing icons,” said Johnny Gray.  “We’ll know we did our job when several years from now our drivers are racing for Cup championships. As for Garage, what we do is more than just field a race team. We build chassis, we build bodies. We have a transportation company. We are marketers and content creators. We are teachers and mentors.

“It’s bigger than simply ‘motorsports’ or ‘racing.’ But what it all has in common is that it takes place in our garage. So, TRICON Garage just seemed to encompass what we’re all about.”

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