ThorSport Racing, the longest-tenured team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, announced today its 2012 lineup of drivers and sponsorships on their “charge towards a championship.” Returning for an unprecedented 12th year is Matt Crafton, who will pilot the No. 88 Menards Toyota Tundra in 2012; the relationship is one of the longest-running sponsorship partnerships in NCWTS history between a sponsor and driver. Johnny Sauter, 2011 driver champion runner-up and a ThorSport Racing driver since 2009, returns to the seat for a fourth season with the No. 13 Hot Honeys/Curb Records Toyota Tundra. Rookie Dakoda Armstrong rounds out the stout lineup, actively racing for the Rookie of the Year title in the No. 98 EverFi/Drive for Savings Toyota Tundra for a full season.
“We’re excited to take on this year from all fronts,” said Matt LaNeve, Vice President of Motorsports Partnerships for ThorSport Racing. “With such a great arsenal of really dedicated partners and sponsors, as well as the support from Toyota and Toyota Racing Development (TRD), we are ready to get to the racetrack. It’s going to be a very successful year!”
Crafton, after a win in Iowa in 2011, returns to the track at Daytona with a renewed focus on a championship trophy, as well as a new crew chief. Longtime friend and member of the No. 88 team, Carl Joiner, takes to the top of the pit box as crew chief of the No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra team. “There’s always something special in the air when a new season approaches, particularly when at such a special place like Daytona,” said Jeff Abbott, Promotions Manager & Spokesperson for Menards. “We can’t wait to see the familiar neon-yellow #88 on the track and look forward to another outstanding season with Matt Crafton.”
Sauter takes to the track in Daytona with more than just Victory Lane on his mind – he wants that championship trophy. After two visits to Victory Lane in 2011 and a narrow miss by six points of the championship, he’s got nothing but positive vibes in his corner about the 2012 season. And he’s ready to take it on by the horns. He returns with longtime crew chief and best friend, Joe Shear, Jr. atop the pit box. A sponsor and partner of both Johnny’s and ThorSport Racing for their fourth year, Curb Records returns with the No. 13 for the season. “Johnny and I have a long history together in racing and many years of a great friendship and mentorship,” said Mike Curb, President of Curb Records. “It has been amazing to watch his progress in the NCWTS in the last few years with ThorSport Racing, and we’re ready to support him this year on a championship hunt.”
Sauter also brings a partner on board with a little “buzz” – the Hot Honeys Honey Roasted Chipotle-flavored peanuts. In a partnership with The Peanut Roaster, the No. 13 will rotate race hoods throughout the season, focusing on a variety of peanut brands and products. “The Peanut Roaster is thrilled to have Hot Honeys on the hood of the number 13 this year. Nothing could be finer than to see Johnny Sauter drive that yellow honeycomb truck to Victory Lane at Daytona- what an awesome paint scheme,” said John S. Monahan, President of The Peanut Roaster. “Grab a bag or can of our deliciously different Honey Roasted Chipotle peanuts today and enjoy while watching the race. We’re excited to start engaging NASCAR fans in the Peanut Roaster brand in a variety of ways this year. They’re all available at Peanut.com.”
Rookie Dakoda Armstrong, earning his first top 10 finish in 2011, returns to ThorSport Racing in 2012 ready to tackle the chase for a Rookie of the Year trophy. The stiff competition doesn’t phase him, as the former Rookie of the Year in ARCA Racing knows how to compete under pressure. He brings with him his 2011 crew chief, Dan Stillman, and his No. 98 EverFi/Drive for Savings Toyota Tundra team.
“We’re thrilled to bring EverFi and our learning platforms to NASCAR,” said EverFi Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Jon Chapman. “We share NASCAR’s passion for speed in our urgency to bring critical life skills to schools across the US. It’s going to be a fun and exciting 2012 season with Dakoda and ThorSport Racing.”
Armstrong also returns with Drive for Savings, a strong supporter of his racing efforts in 2011. “Drive for Savings (DFS) is very excited to sponsor Dakoda Armstrong in the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” said Andrew Racer, Vice President of Sales for Drive for Savings. “The race season is about to kick off in Daytona, and we are ecstatic. We are so proud to take part in Dakoda’s wonderful career in racing. He is a champion both on and off the track, so we are proud to play a part of his success. Let’s all have a safe and exciting 2012 season and good luck to everyone, especially our driver!”