ThorSport Racing will keep on truckin’—with Blue Ovals on their hoods for 2023.
Multiple sources told RacinBoys.com that a deal was signed last week to put ThorSport back in the Ford Performance camp. Hailie Deegan is expected to be the fourth driver at ThorSport, joining Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes and Ty Majeski for 2023.
Christian Eckes sudden departure from ThorSport—and the announcement on Tuesday that he will join McAnally-Hilgemann Racing—simply fueled the speculation. Eckes, 22, piloted the No. 98 Toyota under the ThorSport roof for the past two seasons. He will drive the No. 19 MHR Chevrolet next year.
The Duke and Rhonda Thorson-owned team is the longest-running operation in the Craftsman Truck Series. Thorson debuted the No. 88 truck with Terry Cook in 1996. ThorSport moved from Chevrolet to Toyota in 2012 and remained with the manufacturer through the 2017 season.
Crafton earned Thorsport back-to-back titles in 2013-2014.
In 2018, ThorSport joined Ford Performance. During their three-year run, Crafton won the 2019 truck title. Crafton, Johnny Sauter, Rhodes and Chase Briscoe won races in Ford F150s for ThorSport.
The team returned to Toyota in 2021—and the reunion resulted in Rhodes winning the truck championship. This season, both Rhodes and Majeski advanced to the Championship 4 round with the drivers finishing second and fourth, respectively in the truck series standings. In nine seasons with Toyota, ThorSport drivers scored 18 truck wins.
Deegan, 21, remains under contract to Ford. For the last two seasons, she raced for David Gilliland Racing—which recently moved to Toyota Racing and rebranded under the TRICON Garage banner. The Temecula, California, native finished a career-high 16th in the NCWTS standings this season. Deegan earned top-10 finishes at Mid-Ohio and Talladega Superspeedway. In October, Deegan made her Xfinity Series debut in the No. 07 Ford at Las Vegas, where she finished 13th.