News & Media

ThorSport departs Chevy, will race Toyota in '12

November 29, 2011, Team Release,

SANDUSKY, Ohio -- ThorSport Racing announced Tuesday its 2012 expansion plans, which include a partnership with TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development). After a successful 2011 season in the Camping World Truck Series, with three wins and four poles between two veteran drivers -- Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton -- and the debut of rookie Dakoda Armstrong; the organization is leaving Chevrolet after more than 15 years of partnership.

"We'd like to thank everyone at Chevrolet for all the support over the last 16 years," Matt LaNeve, vice president of motorsports partnerships for ThorSport Racing said. "ThorSport Racing, along with dedicated owners Duke and Rhonda Thorson, have a long-standing history and commitment to conservative, steady growth within NASCAR. Toyota's business and competitive philosophies are in line with our 2012 goals for our [Truck Series] teams of the No. 13, No. 88 and No. 98, as we further look to increase competition. We are aggressively chasing not only wins, but championship trophies for our drivers and sponsors."

ThorSport Racing currently operates three Truck Series teams and will also field the No. 44 Toyota Camry in the 2012 ARCA Racing Series. The No. 13 entry driven by Sauter finished second in driver championship points in 2011, matching the organization's highest previous finish by Crafton in 2009. Sauter missed the championship by six points but capped off the year with a win at Homestead-Miami Speedway, his second victory of the season.

The No. 88 driven by Crafton finished eighth in driver championship points, earned two poles and won at Iowa Speedway.

"ThorSport Racing is a first-class organization and a championship-caliber race team, as well as one of the most respected teams in the Camping World Truck Series," Lee White, president and general manager of TRD, U.S.A. said. "We look forward to working together with the entire ThorSport race team and are confident that it will raise the level of our entire Toyota Tundra racing program."