Story By: DGR-CROSLEY – MOORESVILLE, NC – DGR-Crosley have announced that Tanner Gray will make a full-time transition to the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in 2020.
Gray will drive the No. 15 Ford F-150 in his national series rookie campaign. In addition, Gray will pick up select ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series East (ARCA East) races in 2020.
Gray joined DGR-Crosley’s development program in 2019 as he transitioned to stock car racing after winning the NHRA Pro Stock Championship in 2018. During the 2019 season, Gray competed in multiple series including late models, ARCA East, ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. The 20-year-old’s main focus in 2019 was on ARCA East, where he collected one win, six top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 12 starts. Gray finished the season third in driver point standings. Gray also had a trio of second-place finishes in his three ARCA West starts.
“I’m really looking forward to next year,” said Gray. “Obviously running full-time in the Truck Series is going to be tough with how competitive the series is. It’s going to be challenging racing with these guys week in and week out, but I have a lot of great people around me. The experience in the DGR-Crosley guys will help me adapt and learn quickly. It’s also exciting that Ford is coming on board and giving us assets that will further advance our performance each week.”
In preparation of running a full schedule in 2020, Gray competed in the final three Truck Series races of the 2019 season at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Ariz., and Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway, where he recorded three top-20 finishes after suffering issues in each race.
“Tanner has done a great job in his transition to stock car racing,” said team co-owner David Gilliland. “I was really impressed with how well he picked up the feel of the car and was able to provide very detailed feedback. It’s a big step up to the Truck Series, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that he’s ready for it. I’m confident that the team we are assembling at DGR-Crosley is going to be one that is a factor every weekend and will compete for wins. I’m really looking forward to it.”
The first race of the 2020 season for Gray will kick off on Friday, February 14, at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
DGR-Crosley, Ford Performance Announce Partnership
DGR-Crosley announced a manufacturer change as they join forces with the historic Ford Performance family, effective immediately.
The David Gilliland led driver development program will field Ford entries across multiple racing series including late models, ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
The multi-year manufacturer agreement will help further develop Ford’s pipeline of young talent to support their successful efforts in NASCAR’s top series.
“We’re very excited to have DGR-Crosley come to Ford as part of our long-term efforts to develop drivers for NASCAR,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “We have just scratched the surface of what is possible in developing the next generation of Ford drivers with people like Chase Briscoe, and we believe a coordinated effort with a team like DGR-Crosley will help move that process forward successfully. David Gilliland was a trusted and valued Ford driver in NASCAR for many years, and we look forward to renewing that relationship with him in this new effort.”
The partnership will also provide DGR-Crosley and their drivers with assets that will help elevate their program to a championship caliber organization across multiple racing series. While Ford is new to the driver development program that was established in 2017, Gilliland has a long-standing relationship with the manufacturer. The veteran NASCAR Cup Series driver was a part of the Ford family for nearly 10 years in his full-time racing days.
“I’m super excited about the partnership with Ford and how things are lining up for 2020,” said team co-owner Gilliland. “I spent a lot of time racing Fords throughout my career, and it’s really special to now be able to bring them into our race shop. A lot of time and consideration was spent on this decision, and internally we know that this is the move that we needed to make in order to advance our program to the top level. We have a great group of hard-working, talented people at DGR-Crosley, and with Ford coming on board, our future is really bright. We’re excited for all the things ahead.”