Another Camping World Truck Series team has made a major move for the 2022 season. Niece Motorsports, which currently fields multiple full-time entries in the NASCAR series, will add Dean Thompson to the stable as a full-time rookie.
The Truck Series team announced the news with a press release on Tuesday, November 2. Niece Motorsports confirmed that Thompson will run for Rookie of the Year honors and playoff points while joining forces with Carson Hocevar. Thompson will have support from Thompson Pipe Group (TPG), a privately held family business of engineers, contractors, and manufacturers based in Rialto, Calif.
We’re thrilled to have Dean join the organization,” said Niece Motorsports General Manager Cody Efaw in a press release. “He’s shown a tremendous amount of talent as he’s worked his way up, and we’re excited to help him continue to hone that. He’s got a great teammate to lean on in Carson Hocevar. We’re really looking forward to how 2022 is shaping up for our team.”
Niece Motorsports did not divulge whether Thompson will replace Ryan Truex in the No. 40 or if he will control the No. 44 or No. 45 that featured several drivers in 2021. Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, Bayley Currey, Conor Daly, and Brett Moffitt among others all made starts in the entries.
Thompson Will Make His Truck Series Debut in 2021
The California native has not previously competed in the Truck Series, but he will change that before the season ends. Thompson will make his debut at Phoenix Raceway on Friday, November 5, when he tries to qualify for a spot in the 36-truck field.
Thompson has spent his 2021 season making starts in the ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series West while driving for Sunrise Ford Racing. He also had support from the Thompson Pipe Group during the season. Thompson posted a best finish of second at Irwindale Speedway behind Jesse Love on July 3.
“To say I’m excited for next season is definitely an understatement,” Thompson said in the press release. “I’m honored to have the chance to drive these Niece Motorsports Chevrolets. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Carson and am looking forward to having him as a teammate. Thank you to Al Niece and everyone at Niece Motorsports for the opportunity. A huge thank you to Thompson Pipe Group for their continued support. I’m looking forward to the chance to make them all proud next season.”
Thompson Is the Second Driver To Join Niece for 2022
The addition of Thompson is only the latest move for Niece Motorsports. The organization also announced on August 17 that rookie Carson Hocevar will return for his sophomore campaign in the Truck Series.
The driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet released a video to make the announcement. The clip on Twitter featured a pool table and a ball sitting by the corner pocket with the message “Full Time 2022” attached to it. Another ball rolled in and knocked it into the pocket, revealing the Niece Motorsports logo.
“I’m so excited and thankful for the chance to race full time again with Niece Motorsports in 2022,” Hocevar said in a press release on August 17, per “Jayski.” “The support of Al [Niece], Cody [Efaw], Phil [Gould] and every single employee at Niece Motorsports has meant the world. We are still 100 percent focused on chasing that Championship this year, but it’s definitely a relief to have next year’s plans already in place. Thanks to everyone at Premier Security, GM Parts Now and Scott’s Coins, Jewelry & Sports for their support this year. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without them.”
Following the announcement, Hocevar competed in the playoffs for the first time in his career. He reached the Round of Eight, but he was not able to secure a spot in the championship four after a wild, wreck-filled trip to Martinsville Speedway. Now, however, he will return to Niece in 2022 and partner with Thompson as they both pursue spots in the playoff field.