TRACKING THE CHANGES: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Part 3

By: Ashley McCubbin

The theme of each NASCAR Silly Season is figuring out what the changes will be, so that way you can find the ride that your favourite driver(s) is(are) behind the wheel of. It’s why News From The Pits is here to help you sort through it all.

Click here to read part one /// Click here to read part two

#30: Kaden Honeycutt, On Point Motorsports, Race Face Digital Toyota Tundra

Roper Racing has began to confirm their plans, with Late Model standout Kaden Honeycutt scheduled to run the opening six races on the calendar. The Texan made nine starts last season, picking up three top-20 finishes with small teams including a ninth in the finale at Phoenix Raceway. A lot of people are expecting big things here considering his late model resume.

A runner-up in the ARCA Menards Series standings with 13 top-five’s and 17 top-10’s has earned Daniel Dye an opportunity in the Truck Series, courtesy of GMS Racing. Considering the caliber of the team – championship level – and his natural progression with success at each level, it may not be long before we see him steadily running inside the top-10, contending for race wins in the second half of 2023. They will have Travis Sharpe calling the shots, after he found success with Jesse Love in the ARCA Menards Series West in 2021 with two wins and eight top-10’s.

The drivers aren’t the only ones changing places in the series, with a slew of crew chief adjustments that should be addressed as well.

REV Racing makes the aforementioned jump from ARCA to Truck Series with Nick Sanchez with Danny Stockman brought aboard to call the shots. Essentially, it’s a product of their technical alliance with Kyle Busch Motorsports as Stockman and the entire No. 18 team make the transition over together. The group led Chandler Smith to a third-place finish in the standings with three wins and 16 top-10’s.

KBM has some changes of their own, promoting Jimmy Villeneuve from Truck Chief to crew chief, as he will work with Chase Purdy on the No. 4 entry. It seems like the right progression within house, also given Villenueve’s winning success with John Wes Townley previously at Athenian Motorsports. It’s worth noting Eric Phillips was strong with the team in 2022, leading John Hunter Nemechek to two wins and 15 top-10 finishes. Those will be the same expectations, if not higher, as we know the success rate for titles and wins for KBM. Phillips remains in the sport, now holding down a crew chief role at Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

#47: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., JTG Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Kroger/ Irish Spring and Brian Pattie

KBM will still have a veteran involved in the team, with Brian Pattie taking over crew chief duties for the No. 51 entry which will be shared by Jack Wood and Kyle Busch. Pattie has experience through NASCAR’S three series, guiding Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to two wins and a berth in the playoffs in 2017. Just repeat the above for expectations, please. Marty Lindley, who held the position in 2022, moves up to the Xfinity Series to crew chief for Sam Mayer at JR Motorsports. 

With Scott Zipadelli leaving Hattori Racing Enterprises following six seasons, it will be Doug Randolph working with Tyler Ankrum in his second season with the team. Randolph brings a wealth of knowledge to the organization with years of experience across all three NASCAR series, including victories in both Xfinity and Truck. It’s why similar success that Ankrum experienced in 2022 should carry forward.

The No. 24 GMS Racing entry is not just receiving a driver change (in Caruth instead of Wood), but also a new chief with Chad Walter replacing Tom Ackerman. Walter spent last season working with Jeb Burton at OUR Motorsports, taking a smaller budget team to a slew of top-20 finishes. You have to believe with the right funding in the place here, it will allow his ability to shine and possibly find success with Caruth. Ackerman, meanwhile, has not announced plans for the upcoming year but no top-10s with a truck out of GMS makes you wonder.

The pieces so far……

  • DGR – Crosley Racing is now TRICON Garage
  • Chase Elliott to run the season-opener at Daytona for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing
  • Chase Purdy from Hattori Racing Enterprises to Kyle Busch Motorsports
    • Jimmy Villenueve from Truck Chief to Crew Chief
  • Christian Eckes from ThorSport Racing to McAnally-Hilgemann Racing
  • Corey Heim from Kyle Busch Motorsports to TRICON Garage
  • Daniel Dye from ARCA Menards Series to GMS Racing
    • Travis Sharpe from ARCA Menards Series West to crew chief
  • Dean Thompson from Niece Motorsports to TRICON Garage
  • Hailie Deegan from DGR – Crosley to ThorSport Racing
  • Jack Wood from GMS Racing to Kyle Busch Motorsports
    • Brian Pattie from Cup Series replaces Marty Lindley at crew chief
  • Jake Garcia goes partial to full-time with McAnally-Hilgemann Racing
  • Kaden Honeycutt goes partial to first six races with Roper Racing
  • Mason Massey from DGM Racing (Xfinity) to Reaume Brothers Racing
  • Nick Sanchez from ARCA to Truck with REV Racing
    • Danny Stockman and the No. 18 crew from KBM make the transition over
  • Rajah Caruth from ARCA with REV Racing to GMS Racing
    • Chad Walter from OUR Motorsports (Xfinity) replaces Tom Ackerman as crew chief
  • Ryan Vargas from JD Motorsports with Gary Kellar, to On Point Motorsports part-time (alongside Xfinity Series with CHK Racing)
  • Tyler Ankrum returns to Hattori Racing Enterprises, but with Doug Randolph replacing Scott Zipadelli
  • William Sawalich from Late Models to partial schedule with TRICON

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