Ryan Truex is back in the NASCAR Xfinity Series as a part-timer. On Thursday, Sam Hunt Racing announced Truex will drive the #26 Toyota Supra in various races beginning with the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
After making sporadic starts in the Xfinity Series from 2010 to 2015, Truex ran the full 2018 season for Kaulig Racing. Despite making the playoffs and ending the season with eleven top tens and a twelfth-place points finish, he was replaced by Justin Haley for the following year. He reverted to a part-time status over the next two years, which included running six Xfinity races for JR Motorsports with four top tens.
He ran the full 2021 Truck schedule for Niece Motorsports, scoring three top tens, a best race finish of fourth at Daytona, and placing sixteenth in the standings. Truex did not return to Niece for 2022.
“Being able to work with Ryan, not only a real talent, but one of my best friends, is definitely one of the coolest opportunities I’ve had as a car owner,” said SHR owner Sam Hunt in a press release. “He’s a proven driver and well deserving, and he can also help continue SHR’s growth with his experience and knowledge of where we are at as a team. We know each other far past the sport, and we have been able to lend advice to one another prior to this as friends. Anytime you get to go to work with one of your favorite people – I see it as a win.”
The younger brother of fellow Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr., the younger Truex is a two-time champion in what is now the ARCA Menards Series East. Like Martin, he also has Cup Series experience, having run much of 2014 and last attempting to qualify for the 2019 Daytona 500.
SHR fielded the #26 for eight drivers in 2021: Grant Enfinger, Santino Ferrucci, Colin Garrett, Brandon Gdovic, Dylan Lupton, John Hunter Nemechek, Will Rodgers, and Kris Wright. The entry finished twenty-third in owner points with a best race finish of third by Nemechek at Richmond.