Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that it has signed Ryan Truex to drive in six races this season in the organization’s NASCAR Nationwide Series program.
Truex will drive the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing beginning in Atlanta on September 3. In addition Truex will be behind the wheel of the No. 20 in Richmond, Chicago, Dover, Kansas, and Phoenix. While sponsorship for a portion of the six-race schedule is expected to be announced soon, opportunities for partnership still exist.
“We’re thrilled to bring Ryan into our Nationwide Series program,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. “His family has a great history in our sport and he has really proven himself with the opportunities he has had thus far in his young career. When you look at what he’s already achieved in the K&N Series and with the opportunities he has already had in Nationwide, we’re looking forward to him accomplishing great things for our team.”
Despite being raised around the sport and watching his older brother Martin Truex, Jr. ascend to the top level of NASCAR, Ryan Truex started his racing career a bit later than most. Now 19 years old, he first stepped behind the wheel of a Bandolero car at the age of 13 in his hometown of Mayetta, NJ and quickly showcased the talent that has long been associated with his family which dates back to his father’s racing career in the Busch North Series. He would move through the ranks of Legend Cars and Late Models over the next couple of years before receiving an opportunity to run in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
As he has done at every level of racing, Truex excelled in the K&N Pro Series East with an impressive rookie campaign in 2009 that included three wins, seven top-5s and eight top-10s. He was awarded Rookie-of-the-Year honors and won the championship to give Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) its first NASCAR championship. Truex became only the second driver in Series history to win both honors in the same year, with now JGR teammate Joey Logano having accomplished the feat two years prior.
Truex would win a second consecutive K&N Pro Series East championship in 2010 with two wins, eight top-5s and nine top-10 finishes. During the same 2010 season, Truex would launch his NASCAR Nationwide Series career, achieving an outside pole at Michigan International Speedway and earning three top-15 finishes in his first seven NASCAR Nationwide Series starts for MWR. He has 10 starts in the Nationwide Series this season for MWR with one top-10 finish at Richmond.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to compete with Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series,” said Truex. “I appreciate the support from Joe, JD and the rest of the JGR organization. I can’t wait to strap into the No. 20 Nationwide Series Toyota Camry at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September.
“I’d like to thank Michael Waltrip Racing for their support over the past few years, without them, I wouldn’t be in this position as a driver. It goes without saying that my dad, my brother and many others have supported me throughout my career and I’d like to thank all of them as well.”
It was clear from the outset of today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam’s RV Insurance 500 that all three Joe Gibbs Racing entries brought a car capable of winning at Pocono Raceway. Indeed, all three teammates would share the lead through most of the day, but separate late-race incidents would keep each of them from their desired finish. Kyle Busch would lead JGR with a second-place finish, while Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano were forced to settle for 15th and 26th respectively.
The final road course race of the season takes place in two weeks in Watkins Glen, NY. This unique race presents a great opportunity for teams outside of a Chase position to clinch a wild card spot with a win. Earlier this week, JGR sent its road course cars at Road Atlanta, a track where teams are permitted by NASCAR to test. Road Course expert Max Papis joined Joey Logano for the test to provide invaluable insight and instructions for improving road course techniques. We equipped this No. 20 Home Depot Toyota with a passenger’s seat – something you don’t see too often in NASCAR racecars.