A family Legacy
Ryan is a third-generation race car driver from Northern Virginia. He has raced since the age of four, winning national championships and races in major series' such as Grand-Am/IMSA, Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, and many more. Ryan's grandfathers were both involved in motorsports. Ryan's grandfather on his father's side, Vic, lost his life in a racing crash in 1958, the same year Ryan's father Jim was born. Jim raced his whole life until ultimately passing the reigns to Ryan in 1993 when he began racing quarter midgets at the age of four..
The Rise to the top
Ryan won several regional and national championships in quarter midgets, moving into Legends Cars at the age of eleven. There he won the Virginia state championship and finished fourth in the national points championship. After moving on from Legends Cars, Ellis moved on to NASCAR Late Models for a season, earning several impressive finishes before focusing on road course racing with Spec Miatas and Legends Cars. It was there that he was noticed and selected by Volkswagen to the newly formed Jetta TDI Cup program, where he would be one of their stars for their new Discovery Channel television show, Racing Under Green / Road to Racing.
Racing in that series, he won two races, qualifying on the pole twice. His fast success in front-wheel-drive vehicles caught the eye of Volkswagen motorsport executives again and APR Motorsport, a Volkswagen Grand-Am team, quickly signed him to a deal in 2011 to compete in one of the top road racing series' in the United States, the Grand-Am Continental Tire Series (IMSA).
His Grand-Am rookie season was very similar to the year prior in the TDI Cup series. Ellis also won the first two races of the Grand-Am season and qualified on the pole at Daytona. He ultimately went on to finish third in the points championship. He also won Rookie of the Year in his class, Street Tuner.
The Move to NASCAR
After several successful seasons in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Series, Ellis caught the eye of Jimmy Means while Grand-Am competed at Road America. The NASCAR legend asked Ryan to attempt to qualify his underfunded NASCAR Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series car into a very competitive field. Little did Ellis realize that this random call would lead to a complete career change.
Since 2012, Ryan has competed in the top levels of NASCAR and he made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2015. He's made a career since driving for small and mid-sized teams, making the best of each opportunity. Although Ellis has raced NASCAR for nearly 10 years, he was given a massive opportunity in 2022 when he, and sponsor Keen Parts / CorvetteParts.net, signed with Alpha Prime Racing to drive the No.44 and No.45 Chevrolets. In his first race with the team, he got his career-best finish, and went on to match it a few races later.
Ellis is married to his wife Allison. Together they have a daughter, Hayden, born in August 2021, and two pups named Barry and Andy. They live in Huntersville, North Carolina and in his free time, Ryan enjoys working out, playing hockey, and playing video games with friends. He is a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and formerly hosted the "Not Another Racing Podcast" with Matt DiBenedetto and Konnor Fulk, produced by Klik Marketing.