Alpha Prime Racing took care of an important part of the business. The NASCAR Xfinity Series Team has locked down a key driver for the 2023 season, according to an expanded schedule.
Alpha Prime Racing provided the update on September 15 ahead of the trip to Bristol Motor Speedway. The team has confirmed that Ryan Ellis will return after starting 11 games during the 2022 season. He will kick off his 2023 campaign with the start of the 100th Xfinity Series, which will take place at an event to be named later.
“Ryan was one of the first people to believe in what we were putting together here at Alpha Prime Racing,” said team general manager Tommy Joe Martins. “We are very pleased that he and his partners have secured 2023 and are proud that he will be the first driver to be announced in our squad.”
A full lineup of partners or races isn’t available yet, so questions remain about Ellis’ upcoming schedule. However, Martins told Jeske that the Virginia native will run at least “15” races during the 2023 season.
Ellis will conclude 2022 on a short history
Ellis has made 10 starts for Alpha Prime Racing so far. It will start for the eleventh – and last – time in 2022 on a short history track. He will be driving the #44 Chevrolet Camaro at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Ellis had some difficulties during the 2022 season. He had DNFs in three races due to accidents, and failed to qualify for the Xfinity Series race at Martinsville Speedway. He also had some strong showings that brought more attention to Alpha Prime Racing.
Ellis kicked off his campaign with a trip to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He finished 13th at 44th and followed by 16th at the Phoenix Raceway. Ellis has since added two top 20 spots, including a thirteenth at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The trip to Bristol Motor Speedway will present a new challenge given that Ellis has only two Xfinity series jobs starting on the short track. He placed 28th for the RickWare in 2015 and then 35th for the Obika in 2016.
Alpha Prime Racing has other moves ahead
Reserving Ellis for an extended schedule was an important step for Alpha Prime Racing. He brought the sponsors to the table, and he delivered on the track while keeping the car mostly clean.
There are other moves APR will have to make in the coming months. Specifically, there are questions about the 2023 lineup that will require some answers from Martins and APR.
The team relied on an assortment of drivers in 2022, including Raja Karuth, Kaiser Pacarella, Sag Karam, Josh Bellecki, Kaz Grala, Andy Lally, Howie DeSavino III, Martins and Julia Landauer. Some of these drivers will likely return for 2023 after some strong showings. Karam, in particular, is within the first five places in the team’s history.
When Martins and Bacarella first revealed their APR in August 2021, we announced Caruth as the future of the team. The plan was for the ARCA Menards Series driver to run his real entry-level schedule in 2023. APR has since undergone many changes, but there is no reason to doubt that Caruth will return with expanded capacity.
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