The No. 18 will have a veteran driver for the Xfinity Series trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ryan Truex will make another start for Joe Gibbs Racing while continuing his part-time schedule in 2022.
The NASCAR Roster Portal provided the update ahead of the return to Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ryan Truex is listed as the driver of the No. 18 Toyota GR Supra for the 163-lap event at the reconfigured 1.5-mile track. He will continue to work with Jason Ratcliff, who serves as the crew chief for a rotating cast of drivers.
This trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway will mark the first time that Truex has taken on the reconfigured track with new asphalt and steeper turns. It was Trevor Bayne who took over the entry and competed in the first race at AMS while running his own part-time schedule with Joe Gibbs Racing. Bayne qualified fifth, but he finished 28th after getting collected in a 12-car incident during the final stage.
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Atlanta Marks an Additional Start for Truex
The race at Atlanta Motor Speedway was not on Truex’s initial schedule. The original announcement from Joe Gibbs Racing on February 24 only had him listed for four starts in the No. 18 Supra.
Truex made his season debut with the team at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He showed speed during qualifying and started seventh overall. However, he finished 30th after a crash also involving Austin Hill and Riley Herbst.
Truex rounded out his schedule with trips to Martinsville Speedway, Darlington Raceway, and Texas Motor Speedway. He posted a 30th-place finish at Darlington after finishing the first two stages inside of the top 10. He then rounded out his initial schedule by securing top-10 finishes at both Martinsville and Texas.
The No. 18 Has Not Reached Victory Lane
The 2021 season stood out for Joe Gibbs Racing. Daniel Hemric won the Xfinity Series championship for the organization while Brandon Jones reached the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
The No. 54 team stood out for an entirely different reason. The rotating group of drivers combined for 11 trips to Victory Lane. Christopher Bell and John Hunter Nemechek each won once while Ty Gibbs won four times. Kyle Busch led the way by winning all five of his starts.
The 2022 season has told a different tale. The No. 54 is now full-time with Gibbs as the driver, and he has added another four wins to his total. The No. 18 is now the part-time entry after Hemric went to Kaulig Racing, and it has yet to reach Victory Lane.
The drivers have contended in multiple races. Bayne has three top-five finishes, headlined by a runner-up behind Justin Allgaier at Nashville Superspeedway. Nemechek was in position to win his first start of the year for JGR, but Gibbs used an aggressive move to knock him out of the way at Richmond Raceway.
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