The veteran driver will compete full-time in NASCAR for the first time ever in his 13-year NASCAR career.
Alpha Prime Racing is proud to announce today that they have signed veteran driver Ryan Ellis to a full-season schedule in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for 2024. Ellis, who was initially signed to compete with Alpha Prime for only 12 races in the 2023 season, will also complete the remainder of the 2023 season. He will likely end the season with 31 races run, with the team more than doubling their commitment to the 33-year-old driver from Ashburn, VA, since the beginning of the season.
Ellis first joined Alpha Prime Racing in 2022, competing in 11 races for the newly formed team. In his first-ever race with the team, he secured a new career-best finish.
Ellis is a third-generation racecar driver who began racing at the age of four in quarter midgets. His father, Jim, raced in the SCCA, and his grandfather Vic raced sprint cars in the 1950s before losing his life in a racing accident.
After multiple championships in quarter midgets, Ellis progressed through Legends Cars, NASCAR Late Models, Spec Miatas, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Series, Grand-Am, and other series before NASCAR. He made his NASCAR debut in 2012 for Jimmy Means Racing and has raced for numerous small teams in the NASCAR Truck, Xfinity, and Cup Series.
In 2016, Ellis stepped away from driving as a career to become the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Go Fas Racing. When Go Fas closed its doors in the 2020 season, Ellis was fortunate enough to find support from the long-time sponsor of the GFR team, CorvetteParts.net / Keen Parts, owned by Tom and TJ Keen. Because of that sponsorship and friendship, he found himself with his best opportunity since 2016 to get back behind the wheel of a NASCAR race car part-time.
The support of the Keen’s, along with other longtime partners like Audio Video Specialists, Rich Mar Florists, Limetree Marketing, Kansasland Tire, and others, helped Ellis back into the driver’s seat. He drove several races for BJ McLeod Motorsports in 2021 before making the transition to Alpha Prime Racing in 2022.
Since then, Ellis has worked diligently with his small marketing team to find and grow valued partnerships. In the 2022 season, the Keens joined Ellis at Alpha Prime, propelling Ellis’ career into the best opportunity he had ever had in his NASCAR career. Ellis’ marketing team - led by Sarah Handy and Garrett Miller and guided by the foundation of Phillip Smalley and Motorsports Management International.
Throughout 2022 and 2023, Ellis, his internal team, and Alpha Prime Racing have grown their primary and secondary sponsorships at an unprecedented rate. In the 2023 season alone, the No.43 team has already announced/raced with primary sponsorships from Heartbeat Hot Sauce, Costa Oil (4 races), ShineWater, Rolling Plains Construction, Pella Windows + Doors of Georgia, Four Loko, Device42, Raising Cane’s, CorvetteParts.net / Keen Parts (5 races), Flexcar, Gurtz Electric, Classic Collision, Rich Mar Florists, Renascent, AAGI, and Spider Energy Drink, with at least four new primary sponsors yet to be announced.
Partnerships specific to the 2024 season will be announced at a later date.
QUOTE FROM RYAN ELLIS
“This announcement is truly a dream come true,” said Ryan Ellis, driver of the No.43 Alpha Prime Racing Chevrolet Camaro. “My team and I have been working so hard to be able to get to this point. Without so many people’s support throughout my life and, specifically, the help of Sarah Handy, Garrett Miller, and Phillip Smalley of MMI, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I’m so thankful that Tommy Joe Martins and Caesar Bacarella have had belief in me since day one, and so excited to have a shot at competing in the points 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.
Ellis continued, Competing full-time in NASCAR has been a dream of mine my entire life. For most of my life, it seemed unattainable. However, even when I was working full-time in various office jobs and barely scraping together money to pay the bills and find enough sponsorship just to run a few races a year, I always had the support of my family and friends - my parents, my sister, and 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 want 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.”
QUOTE FROM TOMMY JOE MARTINS
“Ryan has been a part of Alpha Prime Racing since we first announced it two years ago. 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,” said Tommy Joe Martins, President of Alpha Prime Racing.
About Alpha Prime Racing
Alpha Prime Racing is a NASCAR Xfinity Series team co-owned by NASCAR driver Tommy Joe Martins and Alpha Prime Sports Founder and CEO Caesar Bacarella. The team was initially founded in 2009 under the name Martins Racing and has since grown into a three-car Chevrolet team, adding the No. 43 Chevrolet in 2023, primarily piloted by Ryan Ellis.