Heading into this weekend’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Toyota 200 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, ThorSport Racing has shaken up its crew chief lineup a little bit.
Veteran crew chief Shane Wilson, who had been serving as Matt Crafton’s crew chief this year, is no longer with the team, a ThorSport Racing representative confirmed to TobyChristie.com on Thursday.
Jeriod Prince, who won this past weekend’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway as the crew chief for Ben Rhodes, will move over to serve as the crew chief for Crafton and the No. 88 Ford F-150 team.
Brian Ross, who has served as the lead engineer for ThorSport Racing, will become the new crew chief for Rhodes and the No. 99 team.
Crafton, 46, has had a rough start to the season by his standards. The three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, prior to the swap, was on pace for his worst average finish (13.4) in a season since the 2006 season (13.8).
Through the opening 11 races of the year, Crafton has just one top-five finish and four top-10s. The California native will look to boost his 2023 numbers with a new crew chief atop the box.
Crafton started the 2022 season with Jeff Hensley as his crew chief. By the 15th race of the season, Hensley moved over to GMS Racing as the crew chief for Grant Enfinger. Bud Haefele would serve as the crew chief for Crafton in three races before Wilson took over for the final six races of the 2022 campaign.
Junior Joiner was the longtime crew chief for Crafton, as Joiner sat atop the No. 88 pit box from the 2012 season through 2021. Together, the duo racked up 13 of Crafton’s 15-career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins, and all three of Crafton’s championships in the Truck Series came with Joiner as his crew chief.
The veteran racer has been trying to find consistency from the crew chief position ever since Joiner stepped down following the 2021 season.