NASCAR Truck Series

Gus Dean, Ryan Truex recruited by Hill, Niece for Truck runs

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Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Gus Dean and Ryan Truex might not have full-time NASCAR rides lined up for the 2020 season, but at least they will still see action in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. On Tuesday, Hill Motorsports and Niece Motorsports announced they have signed Dean and Truex for part-time Truck schedules, respectively.

Dean, who lost his ride at Young’s Motorsports after his rookie season in 2019, will drive the #56 Chevrolet Silverado for Hill Motorsports in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. In his lone year with Young’s, he finished fifteenth in points with a best run of thirteenth at Michigan International Speedway. His #12 truck was shuttered and its points were moved to Reaume Brothers Racing‘s #00, to be driven by Angela Ruch in 2020.

An ARCA Menards Series veteran, he finished fourth and sixth in two full-time seasons with Win-Tron Racing in 2017 and 2018. Dean will return to the team in 2020, while he has also confirmed a schedule in late models. In addition to Dean and the ARCA stable, Win-Tron will return to Truck racing in 2020 with Howie DiSavino III.

“Grew up racing with @gusdean in the Allison Legacy Series,” team owner Timmy Hill tweeted. “Gus ran the #56 back then, really cool to work together and have him behind the #56 in the @NASCAR_Trucks at Daytona!”

Hill, who has raced in NASCAR’s national series since 2011 and is currently a member of MBM Motorsports, formed Hill Motorsports in 2019. The team ran eleven races in its first season with Hill and younger brother Tyler, while Bobby Reuse and Carson Hocevar also made one start apiece. Hill scored his team’s first top-ten and -five finish in the fall with a fifth at Martinsville Speedway.

Truex will pilot the #40 Silverado for Niece in six races beginning with the Texas Motor Speedway round in March, marking his first starts in the Truck Series since 2017. That year, he ran the full schedule with Hattori Racing Enterprises, finishing ninth in points with thirteen top-ten finishes and a best run of second at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In forty-two career Truck races, he has nineteen top tens, ten top fives, and two poles.

Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

He moved up to the Xfinity Series with Kaulig Racing in 2018; however, he lost his ride to Justin Haley after one year, during which he finished twelfth in the standings. In 2019, he failed to qualify for the Daytona 500 with Tommy Baldwin Racing, which was followed by a six-race Xfinity slate with JR Motorsports. He recorded top tens in four of those races, including a second at Phoenix Raceway.

“I’m extremely excited to continue my partnership with Marquis Spas for a second season and can’t wait to go after wins with Niece Motorsports,” Truex stated. “Marquis builds the highest quality spas on the market and I’m grateful to be partnered with a company that strives for continued excellence. I can’t wait to kick off the 2020 season with Marquis Spas and Niece Motorsports in Texas.”

Truex will share the #40 with Hocevar. In addition to his start with Hill, Hocevar finished twenty-fifth in his Truck d├ębut with Jordan Anderson Racing at Eldora Speedway. He will compete in nine events with Niece in 2020.

“This is another really exciting announcement for Niece Motorsports,” team owner Al Niece commented. “Ryan is a proven talent with a lot of experience, and we are happy to have him on board. I’m eager to get this season started, and I know Ryan is ready to get on track at Texas.”

Niece enjoyed a breakthrough 2019 season as the team qualified for the Championship Round with Ross Chastain, who finished runner-up to Matt Crafton. In 2020, Chastain and Natalie Decker will share the #44 truck as the former moves up to a full-time Xfinity campaign, while the #45 will be driven by rookie Ty Majeski.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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