As Martins Motorsports rebrands to Alpha Prime Racing (APR) in 2022, Tommy Joe Martins is endorsing the idea of the team featuring a rotating driver lineup with “specialists” per track type.
The team has found their road course ace as Andy Lally will team up with APR for the 2022 season in a handful of starts, joining Martins, ARCA standout Rajah Caruth, and veteran Caesar Bacarella. Pending any scheduling conflicts, the New York driver will participate in all six road courses for the Xfinity Series, including the newest addition of Portland.
“I can’t wait to get started,” said Lally. “Caesar has been on me the past few months about what they’ve got going on with APR and how he wanted me to get involved. After spending some time at the shop and getting to know Tommy Joe a bit, I can tell they’re serious.”
As Martins prepares to step back from full-time driving to focus on the growth and development of the newly formed team, the Mississippi driver is doubling down on making APR one of the strongest underdog teams in the series.
“We’re not messing around,” Martins said in a statement. “We want to be better. Caesar and I talked about bringing Andy on, and to me, it was a no-brainer. He’s one of the best road course stock car drivers in the world, and he’s going to be driving our racecar.
“He’s a truly elite-level road racer. As competitive as the Xfinity Series is going to be next year – plus we’re running six road course events – we had to bring someone in that can compete at the front of the field in those races. He’s going to be a leader on our race team.”
Martins revealed exclusively to TobyChristie.com that APR will also field two cars for select races in 2022. The 34-year-old expressed great excitement about the superspeedway in particular, with the future plans for the races featuring two cars to be shared at a later date.
The relationship between Lally and Bacarella goes beyond this new deal, as Alpha Prime, founded by Bacarella, backed Lally in previous Xfinity Series starts.
“He’s a stud,” Bacarella said. “You look at what he’s done driving for other teams, smaller teams – he always makes them better. He’s going to make us better.”
This season, the 46-year-old driver spent five races in the Xfinity Series, piloting multiple entries for Our Motorsports and Team BJ McLeod Motorsports. Lally turned heads with a top-five finish at Mid-Ohio, and a tenth place finish at the Indianapolis road course with BJMM. Lally also had multiple top-fives with Our Motorsports in 2020 at Road America and the Daytona road course.
“I love these cars,” Lally said. “It’s the most fun I have racing anything all year. NASCAR racing is such a challenge, and wrestling these things around a road course is just such a blast. And doing it for a smaller team and being able to overachieve and race for top 10’s and top 5’s, that makes it even better.”
While Lally will focus on the road courses for APR, an oval return is not out of the question.
“We’re not done finalizing his schedule,” Martins said. “There’s a few options besides just the road course stuff. We’ve just got to see how it all shakes out, but I expect him to run six races for us.”
The first road course race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2022 is set for Circuit of the Americas on March 26th.