Coming off another exceptional season across multiple motorsport categories, TRD USA (Toyota Racing Development) is pleased to officially unveil its 2024 Toyota Driver Development (TD2) lineup.
“The TD2 program is something that we take much pride in at TRD,” said Trent Rodriguez, Manager, Driver Development, TRD. “Providing opportunities for young drivers to reach their goals in motorsports will always be something that TRD celebrates. Our lineup for this season is incredibly diverse and filled with exceptionally talented drivers. With this group, we look forward to earning countless race wins and championships across multiple racing series this year.”
The accomplished program reached new heights during the 2023 racing year as a graduate or current member of the TD2 program achieved a Championship 4 berth in each NASCAR national series, along with titles earned in the ARCA Menards Series and dirt racing action. TRD also celebrated the second graduate of the program – John Hunter Nemechek – achieving a full-time opportunity in the NASCAR Cup Series, joining back-to-back Championship 4 driver Christopher Bell.
This season’s talented lineup, across three motorsports disciplines, includes Jade Avedisian, Brent Crews, John Geesbreght, Tyler Gonzalez, Taylor Gray, Corey Heim, Buddy Kofoid, Isabella Robusto, Gio Ruggiero, William Sawalich, Chandler Smith, Ryan Timms and Westin Workman.
Smith, 21, returns to the TD2 program after running for Kaulig Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series full-time last year, along with three NASCAR Cup Series starts in 2023. Smith and Toyota have earned much success together, including five Truck Series victories and a Championship 4 berth in 2022, along with 10 ARCA Menards Series triumphs. For 2024, Smith will compete full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in the No. 81 Toyota GR Supra in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Heim, 21, will return full time to TRICON Garage after an exceptional 2023 season. In his first full Truck Series season, Heim won the regular season title, qualified for the Championship 4, and earned a series-leading 19 top-10 finishes in 22 starts. The Georgia-native will also return to Sam Hunt Racing (SHR) for an expanded Xfinity Series schedule in 2024. He scored a top-10 finish in just his second career series start at Darlington Raceway in May.
Gray, 18, will also return to TRICON Garage for his first full CRAFTSMAN Truck Series season. The New Mexico-native missed the first three races of the 2023 season due to NASCAR’s age restrictions and earned a career-best second-place finish at the fall Kansas race. Gray will also make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut for JGR this year.
Sawalich, 17, earned the ARCA Menards Series East championship last season after an incredibly consistent performance in 2023. He won half the races on the tour and finished inside the top-five in every event. Sawalich will look to defend his title this year, along with additional ARCA Menards Series races for JGR. The Minnesota-native will also run several NASCAR Truck Series events for TRICON Garage and will make his Xfinity Series debut for JGR after turning 18 in October.
Ruggiero, 17, had an exceptional season with many big late model victories, including the Tar Heel 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway and Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway. The Massachusetts-native will continue to compete in late model events for Wilson Motorsports, while running several ARCA Menards Series races for Venturini Motorsports (VMS), including competing for the ARCA Menards Series East title.
Robusto, 19, makes her return to full-time competition this year after making a full recovery from a season-ending injury suffered in a racing incident last year. Robusto will compete in several series in 2024, including late model events for Lee Pulliam Performance and Wilson Motorsports, GT4 races with Smooge Racing and ARCA Menards Series competition with VMS. Robusto is scheduled to make her ARCA debut in March at Phoenix Raceway.
Crews, 15, earned many on-track achievements in 2023, including becoming the youngest TA2 champion while scoring his first ARCA Menards Series victory in only his second start. Crews has a busy schedule in 2024 as he will run several events with VMS in the ARCA Menards Series, along with late model races for Kevin Harvick, Inc. and Wilson Motorsports.
Kofoid, 22, who is a multi-time champion for Toyota in the dirt midget ranks, will take on the full World of Outlaws schedule for Roth Motorsports. Kofoid is already a race winner in WOO competition after a victory at Placerville Speedway last fall.
Avedisian, 17, became the first woman to win a national dirt midget title last year, when she earned the Xtreme Outlaw Midget championship and shortly after signed a multi-year contract with TRD. In 2024, Avedisian will continue to compete in various national dirt midget races for Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM), along with the full Toyota GR Cup Series schedule for Nitro Motorsports.
Timms, 17, will return to the historic KKM #67 in USAC National Midget competition after a successful run in 2023. Timms finished inside the top-five in the final standings after earning multiple race wins last season. He is the youngest feature winner in series history.
Geesbreght, 20, will continue to climb the sports car ranks as he returns to compete for Smooge Racing in the Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO in IMSA and SRO competition. He picked up a victory at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) last season.
Gonzalez, 19, who won the inaugural Toyota GR Cup Series title with an incredible seven race wins, will also compete in the GT4 ranks for Smooge Racing as Geesbreght’s co-driver for the SRO series season.
Workman, 19, joins the TD2 program after a successful debut in his first Toyota GR Cup Series event at Road America last season. The North Carolina native impressed with two top-five runs, including one podium finish. He joins Copeland Motorsports for the full Toyota GR Cup Series schedule in 2024.
TRD takes an active role in each TD2 driver’s development to help them achieve their goals of long-term success in motorsport with support of partners such as ExxonMobil, GEARWRENCH, JBL, Safelite AutoGlass, SoundGear and Yahoo. The mutual long-term commitment allows TRD to provide additional opportunities on-and-off the track to encourage and support their personal development. TD2 drivers, along with drivers who compete for Toyota-supported race teams, also have access to the celebrated Toyota Performance Center (TPC), which provides support with physical fitness, sports psychology, recovery and nutrition.