ThorSport Racing re-joins Toyota; Grant Enfinger going part-time


NASCAR Camping World Truck Series mainstay ThorSport Racing will switch manufacturers from Ford to Toyota for the upcoming season, the team announced Thursday.

As part of the switch, 2020 Truck Championship 4 driver Grant Enfinger will share one of the organization’s four Toyota Tundras, the No. 98, with Christian Eckes.

Eckes, who competed for Kyle Busch Motorsports last season, is set to run 10 races in the No. 98 entry. His first race is set for Feb. 19 on the road course at Daytona International Speedway. Jeriod Prince will serve as the entry’s crew chief.

All returning to their respective ThorSport entries for 2021 are past Truck champions Johnny Sauter (No. 13) and Matt Crafton (No. 88), as well as Ben Rhodes (No. 99). Rhodes will work with a new crew chief in Rich Lushes, previously the truck chief for the No. 13 entry.

The organization confirmed its exit from Ford on Jan. 18, after a three-year run. The organization had run Toyotas from 2012-2017.

“We’re all looking forward to kicking off the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season as we welcome ThorSport Racing back to the Toyota Racing family,” Paul Doleshal, group manager for motorsports, Toyota Motor North America, said in a statement.

“This is a great team with an impressive line-up of drivers. Our previous relationship yielded success in the form of race wins and two driver championships for Matt Crafton. We’re looking forward to working with the team again and adding to our accolades together as we focus in on contending for Toyota’s 12th Truck Series manufacturer’s title.”

Last season, Enfinger (four wins), Rhodes (one win), and Crafton (one win) all made the playoffs for ThorSport, while Eckes did the same with KBM.

But it was Enfinger who became the sole non-GMS Racing driver in the Championship 4 at Phoenix Raceway. He entered the title finale with a win in an elimination race at Martinsville Speedway.

In Phoenix, Enfinger stayed out on older tires to put himself up front for the race’s final restart in overtime. But the decision backfired and Enfinger was shuffled back to 13th at the finish.