Ray Ciccarelli is looking to take the next step with his CMI Motorsports team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the 2021 season. The 50-year old owner/driver says he has upgraded his fleet of trucks for the new year and that he is in talks with three drivers to get behind the wheel for him this season.
Ciccarelli revealed to TobyChristie.com that he has acquired a 2020 Ford F-150 from ThorSport Racing.
Back on December 10th, CMI Motorsports tweeted that they had also purchased some new bodies for their existing chassis.
— CMI Motorsports (@CMIMotorsports) December 10, 2020
Ciccarelli tells us that CMI, who ran only Chevrolet Silverados in 2020, will also have a Toyota Tundra and Chevrolet Silverado in their stable this season in addition to the Ford truck, which came from ThorSport.
The 2020 Toyota Tundra body is mounted on the chassis that Ciccarelli finished ninth at Michigan (the best finish in the team’s history) with in 2019 and the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado body is on the same chassis that Stefan Parsons piloted at Charlotte and Las Vegas in 2019.
In order to upgrade his overall fleet of trucks, Ciccarelli says the team sold some of their inventory of trucks, but kept their two best chassis and used the capital to purchase the new bodies as well as the Ford F-150 from ThorSport.
According to Ciccarelli, a native of Maryland, he is in talks with, “two highly talented drivers from trucks and an Xfinity driver,” to run for his organization this year, although he couldn’t name any names at this time. Ciccarelli says he is only planning on running two speedway races himself and that he wants to fill out the remaining balance of the 2021 schedule with other drivers in his trucks.
The team owner explained that he now has a truck of each manufacturer to choose from as an effort to accommodate any driver who wants to run for his team that has a standing manufacturer allegiance.
In 2020, seven drivers took a turn behind the wheel of the two CMI Motorsports Trucks. The team’s best finish, a 22nd-place effort, came with Ciccarelli behind the wheel at the fall event at Texas Motor Speedway.
Ciccarelli also weathered the storm of backlash following comments about NASCAR’s defined stance on social issues in 2020. Ciccarelli took exception to NASCAR’s announced changes in policy, which banned the stars and bars from every NASCAR property and also allowed for the kneeling during the National Anthem as a form of protest. At the time, Ciccarelli said he would be selling his team at season’s end.
In a follow up interview with TobyChristie.com, Ciccarelli stated that his post on Facebook was misconstrued. Additionally, he walked back the leaving the sport comments. When he was asked if he was indeed exiting the sport at the end of 2020, Ciccarelli answered, “TBA.”
Not only is Ciccarelli returning for 2021, it appears that he has super-charged the assets of his team in an effort to become more competitive than they’ve been since their debut at Homestead in the final race of the 2018 NASCAR Truck Series season.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.