Joe Gibbs Racing has made another roster announcement. The team has identified Ryan Truex as the first driver to take over the “All-Star Car” during the 2023 Xfinity Series season.
JGR announced the news on December 8 while setting its Xfinity Series lineup. The No. 19, which previously featured Brandon Jones as the full-time driver, will become the entry that has multiple drivers. Truex is the first man to join this list as he will make six starts for the championship-winning organization.
JGR did not reveal the dates or the locations of the races in which Truex will compete. Those details will be provided at a later date closer to the start of the 2023 Xfinity Series season.
“We are looking forward to having Ryan back in our lineup in 2023 to run the No. 19,” said Steve DeSouza, Executive Vice President of Xfinity Series/Development. “He has done well in the races he has run at JGR. His previous experience and driving ability will be assets as the No. 19 competes for an owner’s championship next year.”
Truex Made Multiple Starts for JGR in 2011, 2012 & 2022
The New Jersey native made multiple starts for Toyota Racing development during the 2022 Xfinity Series season. He kicked off the year by driving for Sam Hunt Racing at Daytona International Speedway and finishing 12th. He then joined JGR for five starts.
Truex’s first race in the No. 18 took place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the spring. He finished 30th after a crash, but he qualified seventh and ran inside the top 10 during the first two stages.
Truex returned to JGR for races at Martinsville Speedway, Darlington Raceway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Atlanta Motor Speedway. He finished 30th at Darlington, but he posted top-10 finishes in his three other starts. This run includes a season-best third-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Truex will now have six more opportunities to pursue strong finishes and wins with JGR. He will share the No. 19 Toyota GR Supra with multiple drivers while reaching 90 career starts in the Xfinity Series.
“I am thrilled to be behind the wheel of the No. 19 for a few races next season,” Truex added. “It was fun to run well with the team this past year. I appreciate the opportunity to race for JGR again next year. I think we can build from what we learned this year and get some solid runs in.”
A Veteran Crew Chief Will Once Again Lead the All-Star Car
As part of the announcement, JGR also revealed which crew chief will lead the No. 19 team. That role will go to Jason Ratcliff, who has extensive experience working with a variety of drivers.
Ratcliff led the No. 18 team during the 2022 Xfinity Series season. He partnered with Truex, John Hunter Nemechek, Trevor Bayne, and multiple other drivers as they shared the guest car. None of these drivers reached Victory Lane, but they accounted for 16 top-10 finishes and nine top-fives.
Ratcliff did not celebrate any wins during the 2022 season, but he has extensive success in multiple national series. He guided Matt Kenseth to 14 Cup Series wins and Joey Logano to another. Ratcliff also has 54 career Xfinity Series wins with such drivers as Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, David Green, Denny Hamlin, and Jamie McMurray.