Alpha Prime Racing has made another significant move ahead of the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. The team has expanded to three entries.
APR announced the news on December 20 and revealed that the No. 43 will now join the lineup alongside the No. 44 and No. 45. Returning team member Ryan Ellis will be the primary driver of the No. 43 as he takes on 24 races, his largest schedule since the 2016 season when he made 16 starts.
APR’s announcement did not provide any further details about the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro. Instead, it simply noted that the other driver of the third entry will be revealed at a later date.
The expanded schedule for Ellis marks a significant change from a previous announcement. Back in September, APR confirmed his return to the team and said that he would take on “at least” 15 races. Adding more to the schedule is a sign that Ellis and APR will have solid support from sponsors.
Ellis’ Schedule Features Several Key Tracks
The 2023 Xfinity Series season will be the biggest of Ellis’ NASCAR career, and it will begin with an important moment. He will make his 100th combined national series start when he heads to Daytona International Speedway for the season-opening event.
Following the start of the season, Ellis will continue to serve as the primary driver of the No. 43. He will suit up for the entire West Coast swing before returning to the entry at Circuit of the Americas on March 25 after missing the trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The return to Las Vegas Motor Speedway is fitting. This is the track where Ellis kicked off his 2022 schedule with a 13th-place finish, which was a career-best. He then added another 13th-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Memorial Day weekend.
With 24 starts on the schedule, Ellis will now have more opportunities to pursue career-best finishes. He will have consistency and the ability to provide regular feedback to the team, which will only help him continue to make strides.
APR Has Named 3 Main Drivers So Far
The move to three entries and the expanded schedule for Ellis continue a busy offseason for APR. The team has been working hard to put pieces in place for the 2023 Xfinity Series season.
Bringing back Ellis was the first roster decision, but APR quickly reunited with another driver. The team announced on December 2 that Sage Karam will be back for another part-time schedule after he made seven starts and secured one top-three finish in 2022.
Additionally, APR announced on December 13 that there would be a full-time driver in the lineup. Jeffrey Earnhardt will take over the No. 44 Chevrolet Camaro for the full, 33-race schedule. He will have ForeverLawn as a primary partner during his first season with the team.
These three key drivers are ready for 2023, but there are more that will join the lineup. Caesar Bacarella will likely take on some superspeedway races after he made five starts in 2022. General manager Tommy Joe Martins could also make more starts after he took on five races in 2022.
The list of potential options continues with such names as Stefan Parsons, Rajah Caruth, and Julia Landauer among others. Though any announcements will not take place until closer to the 2023 season.