The NASCAR entry list for the August 13 race at Richmond Raceway first showed that there would be some changes. Hailie Deegan‘s crew chief, Mike Hillman Jr., moved over to the No. 15 team of Tanner Gray. Jerry Baxter, who spent the first 17 races with Gray, will move over to the No. 1 team and partner with Deegan for the short track race.
According to a press release from David Gilliland Racing confirming the moves, this is not a short-term change. The swap will remain in place for the remainder of the 2022 Camping World Truck Series season.
Both Deegan and Gray will join forces with their new crew chiefs while continuing their pursuits of a national NASCAR series win. Both Camping World Truck Series drivers have secured some strong finishes for David Gilliland Racing, but neither has reached Victory Lane in the Ford F-150s. Gray has come the closest with seven top-five finishes.
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Baxter Has Extensive Experience Across the 3 National Series
Baxter may be in his first season with David Gilliland Racing, but he has extensive experience in the Camping World Truck Series. He has been atop the pit box for 203 races, and he has reached Victory Lane with eight different drivers.
Baxter’s best seasons featured eight total trips to Victory Lane. He won four races with Bubba Wallace in 2014 while working for Kyle Busch Motorsports and then he added another four in 2019 while working with Brett Moffitt at GMS Racing.
The veteran crew chief spent the past two seasons in a different series. He worked for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2020 and 2021 and guided both Wallace and Erik Jones. Neither driver took the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro to Victory Lane, but they combined for 11 top-10 finishes and one top-five.
Hillman Has Achieved His Most Success in the Truck Series
Like Baxter, Hillman has extensive experience across the three national series. He has been a crew chief for 13 races in the Cup Series, 81 in the Xfinity Series, and 362 in the Camping World Truck Series.
The majority of Hillman’s success has been in the Truck Series. He has celebrated 23 wins over his 16-year career, including five in his first season with Todd Bodine (2005). Hillman actually guided The Onion to 19 different wins and two championships (2006, 2010).
Bodine accounted for the majority of Hillman’s wins, but the veteran crew chief also celebrated twice with Kyle Busch during the 2018 season. They conquered Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway after starting from the pole both times. Jeb Burton (Texas Motor Speedway) and Raphael Lessard (Talladega Superspeedway) were the other two drivers to celebrate wins with Hillman.