Hailie Deegan officially announced she will join ThorSport Racing as the team switches manufacturers from Toyota to Ford for the 2023 NASCAR Truck Series.
The official announcement comes after a report from RacinBoys that indicated ThorSport would return to Ford with Hailie Deegan being the fourth driver for the team alongside Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes, and Ty Majeski.
ThorSport partnered with Toyota in 2021 after working with Ford from 2018 and 2020. However, the team is returning to Ford for the 2023 NASCAR Truck Series and will be bringing Hailie Deegan on board.
In a press release the team’s owner Duke Thorson stated, “With 28 years in the Truck Series, we look forward to the partnership with Ford Performance in NASCAR. Our pursuit of wins and championships remains at the forefront of our objectives.”
Ford Performance Motorsports’ Global Director Mark Rushbrook added, “We’re happy to welcome ThorSport back to our NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series program.”
“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.”
ThorSport went on to announce its drivers for the 2023 season does indeed include Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Ty Majeski, and Hailie Deegan.
Deegan would also announce the move to ThorSport on her YouTube channel saying, “I’m going to be driving the No. 13 Ford F-150 for ThorSport Racing and I am so beyond excited. I feel like this is such a great organization.”
Deegan went on to express some high hopes for the team saying, “I think with Ford and ThorSport back together and me being able to be a part of it and work hard it we’re going to have some good success.”
While Deegan was named the Most Popular Driver of the NASCAR Truck Series for the second year in a row and had her series best finish of sixth at Talladega, she had an overall mediocre season finishing 21st in points while piloting a Ford F-150 for David Gillaland Racing.
To demonstrate just how mediocre her season was Ryan Preece finished in 18th while only starting 10 races and Parker Kligerman finished in 19th while starting in 12 races. Deegan started all 23 of the NASCAR Truck Series races.
Deegan’s teammate at David Gilliland Racing, Tanner Gray finished in 15th.
She will be racing in top equipment this upcoming season. Both Ben Rhodes and Ty Majeski were in the final four and in contention to win the championship albeit they were bested by Zane Smith.
Rhodes eventually finished as the runner-up while Majeski settled for fourth after spinning late in the race while competing for the win.
Christian Eckes, who is no longer with the team, finished 8th in points with the team last year and Matt Crafton finished in 9th.
The team also has won the Truck Series championship four times. Crafton won in 2013, 2014, and 2019 while Rhodes won it in 2021.
Deegan will be teamed with crew chief Rich Lushes, who won the championship with Rhodes in 2021.
Deegan noted the experience and talent of her teammates will help her improve, “I think it’s huge. I think that that’s definitely a big piece of the puzzle that’s getting added to the factor of my career and my racing.”
“The quality of teammates and experience these teammates have here are just incredible. Just talking and having those conversations and seeing how open and willing they are to help you and making sure you’re as comfortable as possible is awesome. And I think that’s something that’s invaluable,” she added.
Not only will Deegan be racing a full schedule in the Truck Series she also plans to continue to find opportunities to race in the Xfinity Series. She made one start at Las Vegas in the series last year and finished in 13th.
What do you make of Deegan’s move to ThorSport and her opportunities for success in 2023?