David Gilliland Racing shifts to TRICON Garage, teams with TRD

Tricon Truck in the team's shop.
Sean Montgomery
NASCAR Studios

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Out with the old, in with the new. David Gilliland Racing ushered in a new era Thursday, rebranding its name to TRICON Garage and shifting from Ford to Toyota as the team’s primary manufacturer.

Beginning in 2023, TRICON Garage will have a brand new look and refocused energy in pursuit of its first Craftsman Truck Series championship. The organization broke the news Thursday in a live broadcast from their team shop, located in Mooresville.

For the team, many of the operations will remain the same, spearheaded by longtime owner David Gilliland and David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development (TRD). Gilliland has owned and operated the team since 2018, making strides in the Truck Series as well as the ARCA Menards Series and employing race-winning drivers like Ryan Preece, his son Todd and more.

New decals for the TRICON Garage team.
Sean Montgomery | NASCAR Studios

Serving as a Ford Performance staple in recent years, the move to TRD has created a new burst of energy in the garage.

“We are thrilled to return to Toyota and compete in the new Toyota Tundra TRD Pro next season,” TRICON partner David Gilliland said. “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.”

SCHEDULE: 2023 Truck Series season

TRICON plans to field three full-time trucks, led by brothers Tanner and Taylor Gray who have been linked to the organization for the past few years.

Tanner, the elder at 23 years old, is in his third full-time season racing for Gilliland after debuting in 2020. Taylor, a 17-year-old rising star, has raced in a part-time capacity but will make the full-time leap next season – despite missing the first three races of next season’s Truck Series schedule due to age restrictions. Taylor’s first race in will come at Circuit of The Americas.

“It’s exciting, obviously,” Tanner said in an interview when asked about racing with his younger brother. “We’ve got to race each other a little bit up until this point, but it’s always nice having him there. He’s younger than me, but you wouldn’t know it. He’s mature and he’s someone that I can go to and lean on for advice and kind of bounce ideas off. We’re also super competitive and we want to beat each other. So, I’m looking forward to it. It’s gonna be fun.”

Taylor has continued to impress on his way to the NASCAR national series scene, collecting three wins in the 2022 ARCA Menards Series season and five top-16 finishes in his 12 career Truck Series starts. Despite his youth, winning races and competing for a playoff spot is still his personal standard.

“Personally, I wanna go out there and win, right?” Taylor said. “I’m missing three races worth of points, so I think if you go out there and run top three every week, top five every week, then I think you can point your way in. But it’s always more comforting and better for yourself to win and get in the playoffs and lock yourself in for the first round. So, winning is better than anything.”

TRICON’s move from Ford to Toyota also brings a roster change, confirming that Hailie Deegan will no longer be with the team after this season. Deegan is in her second year with DGR and has been a mainstay in their consistent two-driver lineup alongside Tanner. Corey Heim, a rising star in the Toyota Driver Development Program, slots in as the third full-time truck for the 2023 season.

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Heim slides over from Kyle Busch Motorsports after collecting a pair of wins, six top-five finishes and nine top 10s in 18 races. His impressive victories came this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the spring and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.

“It will be my first full-time year here in the Truck Series, but I feel like I’ve made enough starts to really carry a lot of momentum into 2023 with TRICON and TRD,” Heim said. “I really wanna get the ball rolling right away and hopefully go for some wins and compete for the championship when it’s all said and done. So, just super thankful for everyone at Toyota and TRD and TRICON for this opportunity. I think it’s gonna be really good.”

With a youthful roster and reinvigorated outlook, TRICON, Gilliland and Toyota are beginning to create a path to sustainable success. Running three full-time trucks — and entering the No. 1 on a part-time basis — there are many opportunities for the organization to thrive in the coming years.

“Our goal in the truck series is to create future racing icons,” TRICON partner Johnny Gray said. “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.”