NASCAR Xfinity Series

Ryan Ellis to run 24 Xfinity races in third Alpha Prime car

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Credit: Alpha Prime Racing

Ryan Ellis has never run a full season in a NASCAR series, and while that remains the case in 2023, the number of races missed will only be in the single digits. On Tuesday, Alpha Prime Racing announced they have created a new #43 Chevrolet Camaro that Ellis will drive in twenty-four of thirty-three Xfinity Series rounds.

The team initially announced Ellis’ return in September. He ran eleven races for the team in 2022, mostly in the #44, with five top-twenty finishes and a best run of thirteenth at Charlotte. With Jeffrey Earnhardt in the #44 full-time for 2023, Ellis moves to the #43 which he will share with multiple drivers like Sage Karam. APR has not announced a driver lineup for the #45.

Tommy (Joe Martins, team owner) and I have spoke about this obviously, and I’m sure the other drivers at APR have as well,” Ellis commented on Reddit in response to a user asking about the team’s rapid expansion. “Tommy has been around a long time and I have faith that he will build it cohesively. he’s seen the mistakes that younger teams have made by growing too quickly.

“I’ve also spoke to our individual 43 team a bit about it. If we keep our head buried down and do our jobs just like we did last year, nothing will be different in our deal. Goal is to not get caught up in the chaos of a growing organization! We’ve got great people there and I have faith that it will be a positive step for the whole team.”

The twenty-four races are the most for Ellis in a series in any season since he made sixteen Xfinity starts in 2016 for Obaika Racing and Rick Ware Racing; he also failed to qualify for three events with the former, upping his total runs that year to nineteen. Ellis also attempted double-digit Xfinity races in 2014 and 2015 for a plethora of smaller operations, while he tried thirteen Truck Series races in 2015 with FDNY Racing and MAKE Motorsports (missing two).

Ellis’ 2023 season begins at Daytona International Speedway, where he last raced in the Xfinity Series in 2018. Auto Club Speedway is the lone track on his schedule where he has yet to make a single start in any national division. Although not currently on his calendar, Ellis hopes to find funding to run Atlanta Motor Speedway on 18 March, which would give him a seat through the first twelve races of the season.

“I’ve never had this many races secured this early. I think the most I’ve ever had secured was like 4-6 races at this point in the season,” Ellis continued on Reddit. “[…] I think a lot of us would like to see full-time folks in the car. just with the structure of purse I don’t know at what point it makes sense to just run a driver for a full season – I know we’re close though! I’d love to see four drivers full-time – not saying all with APR this season lol b/c that’d be a lot, but Karam/Jeffrey/Stefan as well as many of the other folks who did a few races with us last year are very deserving of an opportunity like that. I’m just biased and want to race them all myself lol.”

With a vast roster of drivers, the APR #44 finished twenty-fifth in the 2022 owner points while the #45 was twenty-eighth. Karam and Stefan Parsons scored top tens for the team.

Ellis’ 2023 schedule

1Daytona International Speedway18 February
2Auto Club Speedway25 February
3Las Vegas Motor Speedway4 March
4Phoenix Raceway11 Mach
5Circuit of the Americas25 March
6Richmond Raceway1 April
7Martinsville Speedway15 April
8Talladega Superspeedway22 April
9Dover Motor Speedway29 April
10Darlington Raceway13 May
11Charlotte Motor Speedway27 May
12Nashville Superspeedway24 June
13New Hampshire Motor Speedway15 July
14Pocono Raceway22 July
15Road America29 July
16Michigan International Speedway5 August
17Indianapolis Motor Speedway12 August
18Daytona International Speedway25 August
19Kansas Speedway9 September
20Bristol Motor Speedway15 September
21Texas Motor Speedway23 September
22Homestead-Miami Speedway21 October
23Martinsville Speedway28 October
24Phoenix Raceway4 November
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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