NASCAR and Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK), the world’s largest tool company and a leader in outdoor equipment, announced last August that the American tool icon CRAFTSMAN® would return as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Truck Series beginning in 2023. After serving as the series’ title sponsor from its inception in 1995 to 2008, the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series will make its homecoming at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2023.
In addition to the Truck Series title sponsorship, Stanley Black & Decker will further expand its presence in the sport, entering into a multi-year partnership designating the company and its iconic brands as the “Official Tools Partner of NASCAR” and “Official Tools” of all NASCAR-owned and operated tracks.
“We celebrate the return of the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series with our customers, distribution partners and employees,” said Doug Redpath, President of Hand Tools, Accessories and Storage for Stanley Black & Decker. “From proud homeowners and homebuilders to auto enthusiasts and master mechanics, CRAFTSMAN has been the brand generations have trusted to get the job done. The Truck Series represents authentic, bold and proud drivers and fans, which embody the same characteristics of our CRAFTSMAN brand. We look forward to our return in Daytona in 2023 to reunite with our loyal fans as we begin this new chapter in NASCAR history.”
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series title sponsorship includes exclusive brand integrations on vehicles, crew uniforms, tracks and more in addition to the branding of the Triple Truck Challenge and Championship Race entitlement. It will also serve as a platform to support the launch of new products, amplify seasonal promotions, and highlight the many ways CRAFTSMAN is building pride.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series 2023 season officially begins when the green flag drops for the NextEra Energy 250 on Friday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Next Race: NextEra Energy 250
The Place: Daytona International Speedway
The Date: Friday, February 17
The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
The Purse: $1,025,847
TV: FS1, 6:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 250 miles (100 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 20),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 40), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 100)
Wins Streak: Will Daytona produce its eighth consecutive different winner?
Since 2000, the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series has opened its season at Daytona International Speedway and in the last seven races at the 2.5-mile track the series has seen seven consecutive different winners, begging the question – ‘Will we see and eighth different winner?’
The different winners streak started in 2017 with NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Daytona winner Kaz Grala taking the checkered flag followed by Johnny Sauter in 2018, Austin Hill in 2019, Grant Enfinger in 2020, Ben Rhodes in 2021 and Zane Smith in 2022.
In total, 20 different drivers have won a NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway, led by Johnny Sauter with three career victories (2013, 2016, 2018).
There are four former Daytona winners entered in this weekend’s race – Johnny Sauter (three wins), Grant Enfinger (one win), Ben Rhodes (one win) and Zane Smith (one win).
Truck Series Champion Zane Smith returns to defend Daytona victory
Defending NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion Zane Smith returns to Daytona International Speedway to not only kick start his 2023 season but defend his win at Daytona and try to become just the second driver in series history to win back-to-back races at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
If Smith can accomplish the feat, he will join Todd Bodine (2008, 2009) as the second driver to win consecutive races at Daytona in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series.
Zane Smith has made has three series career starts at Daytona posting one win (2022) and
2023 CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Class
This season five drivers will compete for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series – Rajah Caruth, Daniel Dye, Nick Sanchez, Jake Garcia and Bret Holmes.
The Sunoco Rookie of the Year point system mirrors the points structure that awards the season-long championship, including stage points and Playoff points, with the eventual Sunoco Rookie of the Year earning the most points throughout the season.
As is the case with the season-long points structure, a race win will earn a Sunoco Rookie 40 points and five Playoff points. A second-place finish will earn a Sunoco Rookie 35 points; a third-place finish nets 34 points, and so on. A Sunoco Rookie who wins a stage will earn 10 points and one Playoff point.
GMS Racing will have two rookies vying for the end of the year award this season in Rajah Caruth and Daniel Dye. Caruth will be piloting the No. 24 Chevrolet with crew chief Chad Walter and Dye will be in the No. 43 Chevrolet with crew chief Travis Sharpe.
The newly formed Rev Racing will have the 2022 ARCA Menard Series champion Nick Sanchez in the No. 2 Chevrolet with crew chief Danny Stockman this season.
McAnally-Hilgemann Racing will have Jake Garcia in the No. 35 Chevrolet with crew chief Mark Hillman. Garcia will make his first start of 2023 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 3, the day of his 18th birthday. Due to NASCAR’s age restriction at tracks larger than 1.25 miles, Garcia is ineligible to compete in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. In Garcia’s stead this weekend Chase Elliott will drive the No. 35 at Daytona.
Last but not least, Bret Holmes Racing’s owner/driver Bret Holmes will compete for the rookie honors for his family-owned team. Holmes will drive the No. 32 Chevrolet with crew chief Jerry Baxter.
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Etc.
Triple Truck Challenge returns for 2023 – The Triple Truck Challenge was introduced in 2019, as a three-race program that provides drivers in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series an opportunity to win up to $500,000 in bonus money.
The Triple Truck Challenge will award a $50,000 bonus to the race winner of any one of the three events; win two of the three races and pocket an additional $150,000; win all three and collect a cool half a million dollars.
For 2023 season the Triple Truck Challenge will be held at the following tracks:
- Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 26)
- World Wide Technology Raceway (June 3)
- Nashville Superspeedway (June 23)
Crafton & Menards celebrate 20-year relationship of driver & primary sponsorship – Matt Crafton and Menards will celebrate their 20 year relationship as a driver and primary sponsorship on the truck – the longest active driver and primary sponsorship a NASCAR national series.
Menards and Crafton began working together in 2002 and together they have made 496 consecutive starts posting three championships, 15 wins and 132 top-five finishes.
Crafton has made 22 series starts at Daytona posting two top fives and eight top 10s.
Manufacturer swaps to take note of in 2023 – Three big teams in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series have switched manufacturers for the 2023 season.
- Kyle Busch Motorsports – will switch from Toyota to Chevrolet in 2023.
- TRICON Garage – previously known as Team DGR, will switch from Ford to Toyota in 2023.
- ThorSport Racing – will switch from Toyota to Ford for 2023. In addition, ThorSport Racing signed the 2022 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Most Popular Driver of the Year Award winner Hailie Deegan, who will pilot the No. 13 Ford this season. Deegan has made two Truck Series starts at Daytona posting an average finish of 20.5.
Big names running in the NextEra Energy 250 – This weekend three big names that are competing in the DAYTONA 500 will also be moonlighting in the NextEra Energy 250 – Hendrick Motorsport’s Chase Elliott, Spire Motorsport’s Corey Lajoie and 23XI Racing’s Travis Pastrana.
Chase Elliott will jump behind the wheel of the No. 35 McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet.
Corey Lajoie will pilot the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.
Travis Pastrana will drive the No. 41 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Al [Niece], Cody [Efaw] and the Niece Motorsports crew quite a bit since the team was formed,” said Pastrana. “I was looking to be part of as much racing as possible during Daytona Speedweeks this year and couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to drive their 41 truck with support from WWEX Racing in my first Daytona start in the Truck Series.”