Race Weekend Central

ThorSport Displays Dirt Race Speed With Dominance at Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. – When the dust had literally settled after the Saturday night (April 8) NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on the dirt surface of Bristol Motor Speedway, three of the top-four finishers were sporting the crossed checkered and Norwegian flags of ThorSport Racing.

The Truck Series team’s winner of the night was the one-off entry of reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano, who led 138 of the 150 laps run during the event en route to his second career Truck victory.

See also
Joey Logano Dominates, Wins 2023 Bristol Dirt Truck Race

It was the two-time Cup champion’s first-ever start with the team and it came one year after losing to Thorsport in the same race. In 2022, Logano finished sixth running a one-off opportunity driving for David Gilliland.

“I got my butt kicked here last year, and I thought, ‘Man, I stink,'” Logano said post-race in the media center. “But now I realize it wasn’t me. Their trucks were so fast and obviously, we saw that again here today.”

After losing to both winner Ben Rhodes and former ThorSport driver Christian Eckes last year, seeing their showcase of speed on the clay surface, Logano decided to join the faster Ford team for 2023.

“They asked me what I wanted,” Logano said with a chuckle. “I said, ‘Dude, you kicked my butt last year. Just put in whatever you had last year. That beat me. You want that.'”

Yet even after racing a full race with them, Logano, who grew up running cars on asphalt only, still doesn’t know what exactly it was that led to his domination on the dirt.

“They just got a lot of speed,” Logano added. “They got a lot of drive in it to be able to accelerate our corners really, really well.

“Whatever that is, I can’t tell you.”

The Connecticut native’s only rival – if you can call it that – was his teammate Ty Majeski, who finished second. He, along with Matt DiBenedetto, were the only drivers that were able to lead the field other than the No. 66 of Logano.

Indeed, Majeski led only one lap – the first one. Everything after that was only a battle for second. Although, the driver of the No. 98 Ford believed he had something for his teammate if there was just a little more time.

“I thought maybe, at times, I could match him on the longer run,” Majeski, who won the fall race at Bristol in 2022, said. “It was starting to flip a little bit, and every time that was happening, we’d get a yellow. So, I don’t know if we could have done anything with him but maybe just made him nervous.

“That probably would have been about it.”

Then, there was Matt Crafton, who at around noon on Saturday was named a teammate of Logano in Sunday night’s Cup Series race running the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing entry.

See also
Matt Crafton Replacing Cody Ware for Bristol Dirt Race

Despite Crafton’s strong showing, the four-time Truck Series champion wasn’t too surprised at ThorSport’s impressive dirt-track speed across the board. Additionally, he didn’t feel there was much difference between his truck and the dominant No. 66 of Logano. Well, except for one thing.

Clean air.

“I mean, I was really never in clean air,” Crafton said. “His stuff was definitely good, but I don’t think he was that much better. I mean, he was really fast, but he got clean air.

“He did what he needed to do.”

Rhodes and Hailie Deegan, the team’s fourth truck in their full-time lineup, ended their nights in 19th and 13th, respectively.

Logano marked Thorsport’s first win of 2023. While it didn’t come from one of their full-time drivers, it came with a level of sustained success that perhaps will rub off on the entire organization.

About the author

Dalton Hopkins began writing for Frontstretch in April 2021. Currently, he is the lead writer for the weekly Thinkin' Out Loud column and one of our lead reporters. Beforehand, he wrote for IMSA shortly after graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2019. Simultaneously, he also serves as a First Lieutenant in the US Army.

Follow Dalton on Twitter @PitLaneLT

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Crafton…clean air? Really? It’s a half mile short track and the trucks are like bricks aerodynamically. What a putz.

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