Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE), the 2018 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship-winning organization, is taking a step back from full-time competition in the Truck Series ahead of the upcoming season.
A representative from HRE confirmed the news to TobyChristie.com on Wednesday, after an initial report from Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports stated that the organization would not be fielding an entry in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway.
While prepared to drop its full-time status, the team still has plans to field a part-time entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2024, in addition to exploring competition opportunities in the ARCA Menards Series and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Per the organization, specifics regarding the NASCAR Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series programs for Hattori Racing Enterprises — including driver(s), sponsor(s), and schedule of events – will be announced as they are finalized.
Owned by former Truck Series part-timer Shigeaki Hattori, Hattori Racing Enterprises has been a mainstay in the series since 2016, working with drivers such as Ryan Truex, Brett Moffitt, Austin Hill, Tyler Ankrum, and Chase Purdy.
Last season, the organization fielded the No. 16 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for Tyler Ankrum on a full-time basis, while breaking out a second, part-time entry in select events for drivers Jake Dew, Christopher Bell, and Sean Hingorani.
Throughout its nearly-decade-long tenure in the NASCAR Truck Series, HRE spent most of its time as a perennial frontrunner, scoring a total of 14 victories between drivers Brett Moffitt and Austin Hill, most recently at Watkins Glen International in August 2021.
The organization is arguably most well-known for winning the championship in its second season of full-time competition in 2018, despite questions throughout the entire Summer of whether the organization would be able to finish the year, due to a lack of funding.
As part of a return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Hattori Racing Enterprises forged a relationship with MBM Motorsports, in which the two organizations would share the duties of fielding the No. 61 Toyota Supra throughout the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Throughout the team’s tenure in NASCAR’s second-tier series, Austin Hill managed to score a single top-five result for Hattori Racing Enterprises at Kansas Speedway in the Fall of 2020, finishing fifth place.
However, the team’s most recent successes have come in the ARCA Menards Series, with Tyler Ankrum scoring a victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in a one-off effort for the organization in 2023, while driving the No. 61 Toyota Camry.
Further announcements regarding the organization’s plans for the 2024 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series seasons are forthcoming.