When it comes to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, one of the largest off-season pivots in recent memory has come from TRICON Garage this off-season, switching to Toyota, undergoing a rebrand, and expanding its operation to include five trucks in select races.
Some of the team’s major shifts will also stem from personnel, as the team announced its crew chief lineup for the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season on Wednesday, which includes new faces, and some long-time employees of TRICON Garage.
TRICON shot callers: Class of 2k23 pic.twitter.com/5SXbsGUb42
— TRICON Garage (@TRICONGarage) February 8, 2023
Seth Smith, who has worked as a part-time crew chief for TRICON Garage since the organization debuted in 2018, will continue in that capacity for the upcoming season, calling the shots on the organization’s part-time No. 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro.
The entry, a fifth for TRICON Garage in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, will feature Jason White at Daytona, and ARCA East title contender William Sawalich in six events. Other drivers are expected to make appearances in the No. 1 throughout 2023.
Smith’s accolades as a crew chief include a pair of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victories, with Todd Gilliland and Ryan Preece in 2022, as well as five ARCA East wins, and three ARCA West wins.
Derek Smith, brother of fellow TRICON Garage crew chief Seth Smith, will serve as the full-time crew chief of the No. 5 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro in 2023, marking his first full-time season leading a team in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Smith will be partnered with Dean Thompson for the entirety of the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule after the 21-year-old migrated from Niece Motorsports to TRICON Garage for his second full-time campaign.
As a crew chief, Derek has primarily led David Gilliland Racing – now TRICON Garage – in the ARCA Menards Series, but was tapped to lead Dylan Lupton in two NASCAR Truck Series events in 2020, in which the team recorded a single top-10 result.
Scott Zipadelli, a championship-winning crew chief in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, will take on a new role for the 2023 season, partnering with TRICON Garage to serve as crew chief of the No. 11 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro.
After spending the last six seasons as a crew chief for Hattori Racing Enterprises, Zipadelli will partner with Corey Heim, a two-time winner in the NASCAR Truck Series, for the entirety of the 2023 season.
Zipadelli’s accomplishments include 15 victories as a crew chief in the NASCAR Truck Series, as well as the 2018 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title with Brett Moffitt and Hattori Racing Enterprises.
Jerame Donley has been tapped to partner with Tanner Gray and TRICON Garage for the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, serving as crew chief of the No. 15 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro.
Donley, who spent the majority of last season serving as crew chief for Ty Dillon and Petty GMS in the NASCAR Cup Series, will make his debut calling the shots in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the season-opener at Daytona.
The 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series campaign will mark Gray’s fourth full-time season in the series, in which time he’s recorded seven top-five and 16 top-10 results. In three seasons with TRICON Garage, Gray has a best points finish of 14th.
Bill Wilburn will return to NASCAR’s National Series as a crew chief for the first time since 2018, joining TRICON Garage to serve as the full-season crew chief of the No. 17 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro.
The No. 17 will be driven by Taylor Gray in 20 of 23 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events for 2023, with Sammy Smith scheduled to pilot the entry at Daytona International Speedway. The organization has yet to announce who will pilot the entry in Las Vegas and Atlanta.
Wilburn has recorded nearly 200 starts as a crew chief across NASCAR’s top-three series, working for several notable organizations including Team Penske, Robert Yates Racing, and Petty Enterprises, among others.
Matt Puccia, who was named Director of Operations for Roush Fenway Racing in October 2021, will serve as TRICON Garage’s Competition Director for the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.
Puccia, who spent the vast majority of his career in NASCAR’s top-three series with Roush Fenway Racing, will take on a new role with TRICON Garage, which is set to debut its newly-rebranded look in the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway.