David Gilliland Racing has just made a major announcement. The team has revealed that it will change manufacturers and names for the 2023 Craftsman Truck Series season.
DGR made the announcement on Thursday, October 27. The team held a press conference and confirmed that it would switch to Toyota Racing for the 2023 season. DGR also revealed its driver lineup for the Craftsman Truck Series season as it becomes known as TRICON Garage.
DGR will have three full-time drivers. Corey Heim, Tanner Gray, and Taylor Gray will all compete for the Craftsman Truck Series championship. The fourth entry will be the No. 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, which will feature a rotating cast of drivers. All of the drivers will have support from existing TRD partners JBL, Mobil 1, Safelite AutoGlass, and SiriusXM.
“We are thrilled to return to Toyota and compete in the new Toyota Tundra TRD Pro next season,” said TRICON Partner David Gilliland in a press release. “I’ve seen Toyota’s dedication to the sport firsthand, and we are excited to partner with them going forward. I’m sure this new partnership is going to help TRICON reach our goals of consistently competing for race wins and championships.”
TRICON Garage Revealed the Driver Numbers for 2023
Part of the press conference focused on the numbers that the respective drivers will use as they pursue wins and spots in the Craftsman Truck Series playoffs. One will have a new number while two others will have familiar numbers on their doors.
Heim will be in the No. 11 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro after running a part-time schedule with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2022. Tanner Gray will return to the No. 15 as it becomes a Toyota Tundra.
Taylor Gray will drive the No. 17 Toyota Tundra. However, he will have a late start to his full-time campaign considering that he does not turn 18 until the trip to Circuit of the Americas in March. NASCAR’s age restriction policy means that Taylor will miss the trips to Daytona International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Atlanta Motor Speedway.
TRICON Garage Will Benefit a Toyota Racing Program
As representatives from Toyota Racing explained, this partnership with TRICON Garage presents an opportunity. The OEM will continue to have a driver development pipeline for the Craftsman Truck Series.
When Kyle Busch announced that he would move his Truck Series program to Chevrolet, Toyota Racing lost out on a partner that had helped numerous drivers develop en route to the Cup Series. This list includes Erik Jones, Bubba Wallace, Noah Gragson, and Christopher Bell among others.
Having KBM move to Chevrolet meant that only Halmar Friesen Racing, Hattori Racing Enterprises, and ThorSport Racing were the only full-time teams running Toyotas with direct manufacturer support. Though they all had set driver lineups.
DGR moving to Toyota Racing and changing its name to the TRICON Garage now opens up a pathway for future NASCAR stars. There will be multiple races during the 2023 season and beyond, which will provide young drivers with opportunities to control the No. 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and gain experience in a national series.
“Our goal in the truck series is to create future racing icons,” said TRICON Partner 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.”