DGR-Crosley Plans for 2020 Coming Into Focus & May Include NASCAR Next’s Big Name

Tanner Gray during practice at the fall Martinsville race in 2019. (Blake Harris Photo)

PENSACOLA, Florida (December 17, 2019) — The lineup for DGR-Crosley’s NASCAR Truck Series 2020 efforts is becoming more clear, beginning with the announcement of Tanner Gray moving into a fulltime seat in the team’s number 15 entry.

“I’m really looking forward to next year,” said Gray. “Obviously running full-time in the Truck Series is going to be tough with how competitive the series is. It’s going to be challenging racing with these guys week in and week out, but I have a lot of great people around me. The experience in the DGR-Crosley guys will help me adapt and learn quickly. It’s also exciting that Ford is coming on board and giving us assets that will further advance our performance each week.”

Gray’s addition to the roster is the first slot filled in a team that fielded trucks for rookie contenders Tyler Ankrum and Natalie Decker in 2019. Ankrum brought the team it’s first win at the Truck Series level with a victory in Kentucky.

For 2020, Ankrum has moved on and will be driving for GMS Racing while there is no information, or speculation, currently about the future for Decker… whom had a tough DNF-filled season in 2019.

Beyond adding Gray, DGR-Crosley is also speculated to be announcing the addition of NASCAR Next driver Hailie Deegan and Todd Gilliland in the coming days and weeks.

Deegan, the daughter of motocross star Brian Deegan, has made waves over the course of her brief NASCAR career scoring three wins in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, finishing third in the 2019 points standings.

After driving with Bill McAnally Racing in the West Series, Deegan’s plans were uncertain leading into the offseason, although there were rumblings from the Toyota camp the teenage standout would be making her Truck Series debut, assumably with Kyle Busch Motorsports. Those rumblings have since quieted after Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern reported the possible link to DGR-Crosley and Ford on December 10th.

The other likely candidate for a seat at DGR-Crosley is team owner David Gilliland’s son, Todd Gilliland.

Gilliland ran the past two seasons with Kyle Busch Motorsports, but was unable to reach victory lane until the fall Martinsville outing at the end of the 2019 season. That win came with an emotional outburst by the young driver after crossing the finish line that may have been the nail in the coffin for his future with both KBM, and Toyota Racing Development.

PixelatedSPEED spoke with Todd’s father, David, about the possibility of adding Todd to the DGR-Crosley stable.

“We’re working on it,” said Gilliland. “That would be a dream scenario for sure to have Todd back with us racing. We’ll see, I’ve been very proud of him and what he’s accomplished over the last handful of years. I feel like we could definitely contend for a championship.

These announcements come after the team revealed following the Snowball Derby in Pensacola, Florida that they would be making the switch from Toyota to Ford for next season.

“I’m super excited about the partnership with Ford and how things are lining up for 2020,” said Gilliland. “I spent a lot of time racing Fords throughout my career, and it’s really special to now be able to bring them into our race shop. A lot of time and consideration was spent on this decision, and internally we know that this is the move that we needed to make in order to advance our program to the top level.

DGR-Crosley formed in when Bo LeMastus and David Gilliland came together, purchasing assets from the former Red Horse Racing team. They field teams in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West, and have a robust late model program.

– Daniel Vining, Twitter: @danielvining

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PixelatedSPEED is a motorsports news and views website covering all things racing and has been going "Beyond the Headline" since 2018”.