ThorSport Racing will be running a new manufacturer in 2021. On Monday, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team announced that they have parted ways with Ford after three seasons together. While a new manufacturer was not immediately revealed, it is rumoured that the team will return to Toyota, whom they were with prior to 2018.
“After a successful three-year relationship with Ford, ThorSport Racing announces today that they have agreed to part ways ahead of the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season,” read a statement from the team. “Over the past three seasons, the team captured its third Camping World Truck Series driver’s championship, a regular-season title, and Ford’s 100th series win. In addition to 10 wins, 83 top-five and 163 top 10 finishes, 12 pole awards, and 1,707 laps led.
“A complete driver and partnership lineup for ThorSport Racing will be released at a later date.”
ThorSport Racing has raced with each of NASCAR’s current manufacturers at some point in their history. From their debut season in 1996 to 2011, the team utilised Chevrolets before switching to Toyota in 2012. In 2013 and 2014, Matt Crafton won the team’s first Truck Series titles in Toyota Tundras; the former season also saw nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel win a tenth title in the series while driving a ThorSport Toyota Camry.
The team jumped to Ford in 2018. Ben Rhodes delivered the first victory for a ThorSport F-150 at Kentucky that year. The following season, Crafton won a third championship for ThorSport despite a winless campaign. In 2020, the team scored six race wins, including four by Grant Enfinger as he qualified for the Championship Round as the lone non-GMS Racing driver.
With ThorSport’s departure, Ford will have just two full-time Truck teams in 2021 with David Gilliland Racing and Front Row Motorsports, though both maintain a close relationship (the latter’s driver Todd Gilliland is the son of the former’s owner). Lira Motorsports, who last raced in the Trucks in 2015, will also field Fords on a part-time basis.
ThorSport’s new manufacturer was not announced but speculation points towards a return to Toyota. The Japanese brand already has five full-time teams in NASCAR’s third tier with Clay Greenfield Motorsports, Halmar Friesen Racing, Hattori Racing Enterprises, Kyle Busch Motorsports, and McAnally-Hilgemann Racing.