For the first time in his career, Ryan Ellis will enter the season scheduled to compete full-time in one of NASCAR’s top-three series, getting the nod to contest the full season for Alpha Prime Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Ellis, who had originally only signed on for a 12-race stint with the organization in 2023, will also compete in the remainder of the NASCAR Xfinity Series events this season, which will leave him contesting 31 of 33 events on the season.
“This announcement is truly a dream come true. My team and I have been working so hard to be able to get to this point. Without everyone’s support throughout my life and specifically where I’m at today,” said Ellis. “I’m so thankful that Tommy Joe Martins and Ceasar Bacarella have had belief in me since day one, and so excited to have a shot at competing in the point standings next year. I’ve believed in their vision since Tommy first spoke about it, and it’s so exciting to be part of the program they’re building.”
A third-generation racer, Ellis began his racing journey competing in quarter midgets at the age of four. His father, Jim, competed in the SCCA and his grandfather Vic raced sprint cars in the 1950s before losing his life in a racing accident.
After multiple championships while racing quarter midgets, Ellis quickly progressed through the ranks, making stops in Legends Cars, NASCAR Late Models, Spec Miatas, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series, Grand-Am, and other series before making his NASCAR National Series debut in 2012.
“The dream of competing full-time in NASCAR has been a dream of mine my entire life, and more most of my life it seemed unattainable,” continued Ellis. “Even when I was working full-time in office jobs and scraping together money to run a few races a year, I always had the support of my family and friends – my parents, my sister, my entire extended family, and obviously my beautiful wife Allison and my daughter Hayden.”
“I feel so thankful for their support through it all, and I’m going to continue working just as hard to keep building a great future for my daughter and sustainability in this crazy world of racing. I hope to be part of Alpha Prime’s continual growth, and I want to be doing it with the exact same No. 43 group by my side – led by crew chief Michael Brandt, Ty Brazeal, Brandon Scercy, Cesar Rodriguez, everyone that helps us get to the track, everyone at the shop, our phenomenal pit crew and spotter, David Pepper.”
The 33-year-old driver would go on to make several starts in the NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, and Truck Series for smaller organizations, before electing to step away in 2016 to take on the role of Director of Marketing and Public Relations for NASCAR Cup Series team GoFas Racing.
Upon the shuttering of GoFas Racing in 2020, Ellis was able to find support from long-time team partner CorvetteParts.net / Keen Parts, owned by Tom and TJ Keen. That sponsorship allowed Ellis to return to the driver’s seat on a part-time basis in NASCAR’s top-three divisions.
That support, coupled with the support of several financial partners like Audio Video Specialists, Rich Mar Florists, Limetree Marketing, Kansaslane Tire, and others, helped Ellis return to the driver’s seat on a regular basis with BJ McLeod Motorsports in 2021.
In 2022, Ellis would join the newly-rebranded Alpha Prime Racing for a 12-race schedule. In his first start for the organization at Las Vegas, the Ashburn, Virginia native scored a then career-best 13th-place results.
“Ryan [Ellis] has been a part of Alpha Prime Racing since we first announced it two years ago,” said Tommy Joe Martins, President of Alpha Prime Racing. “He’s had to fight for every opportunity he’s had, and just like Caesar and myself. he’s committed to helping this team grow. We’ve been lucky to have him, and we’re both very excited to have him back in a car full-time next year. He’s earned it.”
Throughout the last two seasons, Ellis has grown his sponsorship base at an incredible rate, securing deals from Heartbeat Hor Sauce, Costa Oil, ShineWater, Rolling Plains Construction, Pella Windows + Doors of Georgia, Four Loko, Device42, Raising Cane’s, Corvette.net / Keen Parts, Flexcar, Gurtz Electric, Classic Collision, Rich Mar Florists, Renascent, AAGI, and Spider Energy Drink, with more to be announced down the line.