The reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion will have an opportunity to defend his title. ThorSport Racing has announced that Ben Rhodes will return to the organization in 2022 along with another champion.
Allison Thorson, the Advisor and Spokesperson for ThorSport Racing, provided the update during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. According to media member Alan Cavanna, Thorson confirmed that Rhodes and three-time Truck Series champion Matt Crafton will return to the team after both reaching the championship four in 2021.
Thorson also revealed that the longest-tenured Truck Series team will field four entries during the 2022 season. Announcements regarding the other two drivers will take place at a later date. For now, ThorSport Racing will move forward with two champions leading the way.
1 Driver From the 2021 Lineup Switched OEMs
There have been questions about the 2022 lineup for multiple months. The reason is that Grant Enfinger announced on October 1 that he will move to GMS Racing and drive the No. 23 Champion Power Equipment Chevrolet Silverado for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
GMS and Enfinger showed off the No. 23 Chevrolet during a special press conference at Talladega Superspeedway. The team then confirmed that Enfinger had signed a multi-year deal to run full-time schedules after five seasons in the No. 98 Chevrolet.
“It’s an honor to be coming back to GMS Racing, the place where I was able to jump start my career in NASCAR. Together GMS Racing and I saw a tremendous amount of success – winning races and championships – and I’m ready to pick up where we left off,” Enfinger said in a press release from the team.
“It’s so great to know where I’m going to be for the next couple of years, as I’m used to finding out around January each season. To have this deal signed this early ahead of the season is huge for me personally and career-wise, and I can’t wait to get started!”
2 Other ThorSport Drivers Remain Question Marks for 2022
While Crafton and Rhodes have secure spots for the future, there are two other members of the team that remain question marks. 2016 Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter and part-time driver Christian Eckes both have unclear plans for the 2022 season.
Sauter has competed full-time in the Truck Series since the 2019 season, primarily in the No. 13 and No. 98 entries while piling up 24 wins. Though he scored 13 of these victories during a three-year stint with GMS Racing (2016-2018). Sauter has only posted one win since his return to the No. 13, which he secured at Dover International Speedway.
The 43-year-old could still make his return to the Truck Series and ThorSport Racing. He could also opt to walk away with a long list of achievements. For now, he will remain a focus of multiple discussions.
Eckes, on the other hand, made 10 starts in the No. 98 during the 2021 season. He posted four top-10 finishes, three top-fives, and secured his first career win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 24. Eckes later explained how he hasn’t been able to make the desired amount of progress due to running a part-time schedule.
“I think this is my ninth start of my year,” Eckes told media members after his win, video courtesy of FOX Sports reporter Bob Pockrass. “It’s just been tough not being able to build with the team. Obviously, Grant’s been in the truck and done a great job, which has helped us a lot. But for me personally, not being in the truck has definitely caused a little bit of detriment to myself.”