By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
After announcing last week that they would be parting ways with Toyota, Thorsport Racing announced on Monday that they will be moving their operation over to the Ford Perfromance camp, running the manufacturer’s F-Series truck for the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.
Ford looked to be on the outs in the Truck Series after their main team, Brad Keselowski Racing, shuttered operations at the end of the 2017 season, but Monday’s news gives both the manufacturer and Thorsport new life heading into 2018.
The move to Ford will be the third different manufacturer that Thorsport has run with in its 22-year history in the Truck Series, after running Chevrolets from 1996 to 2011 and Toyotas through the end of the 2017 season.
“With 23 years in the NCWTS, we look forward to our new partnership with Ford Performance in NASCAR,” said team owner Duke Thorson. “Our pursuit of wins and championships remains at the forefront of our objectives.”
“We’re excited that ThorSport Racing has decided to switch to a F-Series truck for the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “ThorSport is a proven championship-level team in the series, and we look forward to providing them the aero and simulation technical support that will ensure they remain at the top level of the Truck Series.”
In addition to the new manufacturer in 2018, Thorsport will also have a familiar face behind the wheel of one of their trucks as two-time series champion Matt Crafton will return to the seat of the team’s No. 88 entry this upcoming season with sponsorship from Menards.
Crafton has been a mainstay in the Truck Series since 2001, running all but one of those seasons for Thorsport, scoring back to back titles in 2013 and 2014, along with 14 wins, 102 top-five finishes, 242 top-10 finishes, 13 poles, 2456 laps led, and an average finish of 11.3 in 407 starts.
The remainder of Thorsport’s driver and sponsor lineup has yet to be announced, but the team noted that they would release their full lineup in the coming weeks. Their first start as a Ford team comes in less than a month with the running of the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona on February 16.