Sam Hunt Racing has provided an important update about the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. The team has announced that Ryan Truex will make his return to the Xfinity Series and make at least one start in the No. 26 Toyota Supra.
SHR announced the news on January 13 with a press release. The team said that Truex will suit up for the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 19. He will take over the No. 26 with support from Circle B Diecast. The release added that the goal is for Truex to make additional starts in the No. 26 during the 2022 season.
Truex last competed in the Xfinity Series during the 2019 season. He joined JR Motorsports for six races and posted four top-10 finishes in the No. 8 Chevrolet. He also kicked off his schedule with a runner-up finish behind Kyle Busch at Phoenix Raceway on March 9, 2019.
“Sam and I have known each other for a long time. We’ve become great friends and I’ve watched him build Sam Hunt Racing into the powerhouse it is today,” Truex said in a statement from the team. “I’m thankful that our friendship has grown into a business relationship and for the opportunity Sam has given me. I will give it everything I’ve got to get SHR and Circle B Diecast a solid finish at Daytona.”
Truex Has Made 78 Starts in the Xfinity Series
The New Jersey native has spent several years competing across all three national series, with 78 of his starts taking place in the Xfinity Series. Truex also made 73 starts in the Camping World Truck Series and 26 in the Cup Series.
Truex made his Xfinity Series debut with Michael Waltrip Racing in 2010 with seven total starts and a season-best finish of 12th at Michigan International Speedway. He did not crack the top 10, but he secured future part-time opportunities with both the rebranded Pastrana-Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing.
Truex only ran one full-time season in the Xfinity Series before moving back to the Truck Series. He started all 33 races in the No. 11 entry in 2018 for Kaulig Racing and secured a spot in the playoffs as part of a career season. Truex finished the year 12th in the championship standings after 11 top-10 finishes and one top-five finish — Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
“Being able to work with Ryan, not only a real talent, but one of my best friends, is definitely one of the coolest opportunities I’ve had as a car owner,” said Sam Hunt in a team release. “He’s a proven driver and well deserving, and he can also help continue SHR’s growth with his experience and knowledge of where we are at as a team.
“We know each other far past the sport, and we have been able to lend advice to one another prior to this as friends. Anytime you get to go to work with one of your favorite people – I see it as a win. We will have a beautiful, fast Circle B Diecast Toyota GR Supra in Daytona, and I believe a real shot to stir the pot and contend for a win. Ryan will be a big part of SHR’s growth both on and off the track in 2022.”
Truex Spent the 2021 Season With Another Team
While Truex has made numerous starts in the Xfinity Series, he most recently competed in the Camping World Truck Series. He spent the 2020 season as the part-time driver of the No. 40 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet before returning for a full schedule in 2021.
Truex’s 2021 campaign featured numerous top-20 finishes, as well as a trio of top-10 runs. The New Jersey native kicked off the year with a fourth-place finish at Daytona International Speedway. He added a ninth-place run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and a fifth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway near the end of the season.
Truex’s time with Niece Motorsports came to an end through a flurry of offseason moves. The Truck Series team brought in three new full-time drivers in Lawless Alan, Kris Wright, and Dean Thompson. They joined Carson Hocevar and completed the revamped lineup, leaving Truex without a spot on the team. Now, however, Truex will focus on a different series.