On Wednesday, Dec. 12 it was announced that DGR-Crosley will be switching manufacturers from Toyota to Ford in 2020.
The move came after a successful 2019 season where the team recorded wins in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, ARCA Menards Series East, and the ARCA Menards Series. So, after all the success, the decision may seem like a strange one; however, when you look at the situation at hand, this was probably the best time to do it for all parties involved.
For one, when it came to trucks, DGR was always going to be the number two option for Toyota’s development system behind Kyle Busch Motorsports. Not to forget the amount of Toyota teams in the various lower-tier series as well.
Now, this was not a horrible thing for the team, but this new opportunity allows them to take a bigger role as a driver development group. With that in mind, don’t be surprised if this team gets even better next season with its newfound manufacturer support.
This brings us to Ford.
A group that really didn’t have a pipeline system into the lower series like the one Chevrolet has with GMS Racing, and Toyota has with KBM. They know have that with DGR, which really cannot be understated.
While a full driver lineup as yet to be announced, there are a bunch of qualities options at the table that the team could add or resign, that would be good additions for the Ford camp also.
For one there is Todd Gilliand, who is a free agent and has that obvious connection with DGR, that could be somebody scooped up. Yes, he did not have the best of seasons with KBM in 2019, but he did show potential and did win a race with the team.
Then there is somebody like a Tanner Gray, who is young and won in his first season in the East Series last year with a history of success attached to his name.
And finally, there’s the appeal to other drivers who may be stuck in the Toyota pipeline that may not have a clear vision upwards. Someone like a Hailie Deegan, who is currently a free agent, has a history with DGR and been rumored to be joining the team.
The announcement may already be creating waves, and the manufacture sent out a media advisory that they will be announcing a new development driver to their program on Tuesday, December 17.
Not to forget that if DGR is successfully able to devise a pipeline for Ford, it may raise the likelihood of a team like Team Penske or Stewart-Haas Racing of maybe investing in DGR to invest in the future of their own race teams.
While all of this may be looking into a crystal ball one thing is for certain, this is move is a win for all parties involved.
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