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DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 05: Hailie Deegan, driver of the #1 BUILT FORD TOUGH Ford, walks the grid prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series In It To Win It 200 at Darlington Raceway on September 05, 2021 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared East/Getty Images) | Getty Images
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 05: Hailie Deegan, driver of the #1 BUILT FORD TOUGH Ford, walks the grid prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series In It To Win It 200 at Darlington Raceway on September 05, 2021 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared East/Getty Images) | Getty Images

David Gilliland Racing Plans to Run 3 Full-Time Trucks in 2022, With All Signs Pointing to Hailie Deegan’s Return

By Dustin Albino

David Gilliland Racing will expand to three full-time trucks for the 2022 Camping World Truck Series season.

This past year, DGR fielded two primary trucks, with Hailie Deegan and Tanner Gray piloting their respective entries. The No. 17 Ford was used in a part time role, visiting victory lane at Nashville Superspeedway when Ryan Preece won in his series debut. 

In mid-November, the team announced Gray would return to the team for the 2022 season with veteran crew chief Jerry Baxter. Baxter moves over to the team from Richard Petty Motorsports in the Cup Series and replaces Marcus Richmond, who spent the second half of the 2021 season with Gray. 

Hailie Deegan, who finished 17th in the championship standings during her rookie season, will be back with the team in 2022. Though nothing is confirmed yet, DGR is in advanced discussion and confident she’ll be returning to drive the No. 1 Ford. Two years ago, she signed on to be one of Ford’s developmental drivers. 

As a rookie, Deegan scored just one top-10 finish, coming in August at World Wide Technology Raceway. With the seventh-place finish, she posted the best finish for a woman at a non-superspeedway in series history. Over the course of the 22-race season, her average finish was 18th.  

“We’re right at the finish line with that deal,” David Gilliland, owner of David Gilliland Racing, told Jayski.com. “We’re working on a few little details, but everything is looking good to have her back next year to continue with her development, too. 

“I’m excited to see, with practice and qualifying coming [back], I think it will help her tremendously. The Truck Series is extremely difficult and competitive, and to run a truck for the first time and to go to a lot of these tracks for the first time with no practice and having to start mid pack is very challenging. I think the format of going back to practice and qualifying will help our rookie drivers tremendously to be able to achieve much better results on the racetrack.”

Tanner’s brother, Taylor Gray, will also return to the team, running approximately eight or nine races. In 2021, Taylor competed in five races, earning a best finish of eighth in the penultimate race of the campaign at Martinsville Speedway. In April, he was involved in a motor vehicle accident and delayed his scheduled series debut from Richmond Raceway to Watkins Glen International in early August. 

“[Taylor] did a really good job last year, so we’re excited to follow up with the progression with him,” Gilliland said. “That truck will be the [No.] 17 truck, and it’s going to run full time also. The rest will be filled in with some different drivers, possibly some Cup drivers. We’re finalizing all of that right now and excited about it.”

Gilliland ran the No. 17 truck in three races during the 2021 season, while Preece, Taylor Gray, Kevin Harvick, Riley Herbst, Bill Lester and Donny Schatz all made starts for the team, running a combined 14 races.

Gilliland couldn’t confirm what drivers will round out the No. 17 truck lineup.