With just two weeks before the official start of the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, Alpha Prime Racing has made an owner-point swap within its three-car organization. The team has decided to send the 2022 owner points from its No. 45 entry to its brand-new No. 43 entry.
A team representative officially confirmed the owner-point swap to TobyChristie.com.
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Ryan Ellis, who will be running at least 24 races for the team in the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro this season, will now have the 28th-place owner points from the 2022 season to fall back on in case he clocks in a subpar qualifying speed or if weather impacts time trials for the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 at Daytona International Speedway.
Ellis will be able to breathe a sigh of relief, as his path to making his first start of the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season gained a lot more certainty.
The 33-year-old Ellis heads into the 2023 campaign with plenty to be excited about. The racer ran 11 races for Alpha Prime Racing a season ago and scored his career-best finish (13th) twice. The journeyman racer has battled his entire racing career to put together the robust schedule that he’ll have in 2023.
Meanwhile, the owner point shuffle puts Caesar Bacarella — the team’s co-owner — in a precarious spot as he will attempt to make it into the NASCAR Xfinity Series season-opening event with no owner points to fall back on.
Bacarella, a native of Parkland, Florida, typically contests the full slate of Superspeedway events in the NASCAR Xfinity Series each season. The 47-year-old has a career-best finish of 12th in NXS competition, which came in the season-opening event at Daytona in 2021.
Alpha Prime, which expanded to three full-time cars for the 2023 season, will have the pressure of making the field at Daytona International Speedway on the shoulders of Bacarella. However, if you’ve seen Bacarella, his shoulders can probably handle the weight.
The No. 44 entry, which will be piloted by Jeffrey Earnhardt for the full 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, will have no changes to its points and will hold onto the 25th-place ranked owner points.
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The 33-year-old grandson of the legendary Dale Earnhardt and nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr., has only competed in one previous full-time season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, back in 2014 while driving for JD Motorsports.
Earnhardt ran a total of 13 races a season ago in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and he impressed while running a mixed schedule between three teams — Sam Hunt Racing, Richard Childress Racing, and Emerling-Gas Motorsports.
Earnhardt earned the pole for the spring event at Talladega Superspeedway in RCR’s iconic No. 3 entry, and he went on to score his career-best finish with a runner-up effort.
The racer also scored a seventh-place finish for Sam Hunt Racing at Nashville Superspeedway and Earnhardt also recorded finishes of 12th, 13th, and 15th at Bristol, Atlanta, and Daytona.