By David Morgan, Associate Editor
Returning to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for the first time since 2014, Ryan Truex will team up with Tommy Baldwin Racing in an attempt to make the field for the 61st running of the Daytona 500.
The 26-year old Mayetta, New Jersey native will pilot the team’s No. 71 entry in its first race back in NASCAR’s top division since the end of the 2017 season.
“I’m excited to have Ryan back in a Tommy Baldwin Racing car,” team owner Tommy Baldwin said. “We had success at Daytona in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, in the past. I’ve known the Truex family a very long time, and it’s special that we’ll be able to compete in The DAYTONA 500 together, and hopefully more races as the year goes on. We are still in search of a primary sponsor that we’re hoping to put together in time to give TBR a great run this year!”
Since last competing in the Cup Series with BK Racing, Truex has found himself racing in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series for a number of different teams.
In 2015, he ran four races for Biagi-Denbeste Racing in the Xfinity Series before moving over to the Truck Series and Hattori Racing Enterprises for the next two seasons. Last season, he was back in the Xfinity Series, competing for Kaulig Racing.
Career-wise, Truex has three top-five finishes, 20 top-10 finishes, and one pole in the Xfinity Series, along with 10 top-five finishes, 19 top-10 finishes, and two poles in the Truck Series.
“I am very thankful to TBR and Tommy Baldwin for this opportunity and can’t wait to get to Daytona and back in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car,” Truex said. “The pressure is on to make it into the race, but Tommy is a true racer, and I know he will put everything into the car to give us a great shot.”
When looking at his Daytona specific stats, Truex’s lone Cup start at the track ended with a 32nd place finish in the July 2014 race, but he has since redeemed himself with an Xfinity Series top-10 last year, and two top-five finishes in the Truck Series in 2014 and 2016.
Meanwhile, Tommy Baldwin Racing has had success at Daytona in the past with a pair of top-10 finishes in the 2013 and 2016 running of the Great American Race.