On Thursday, March 6, SR2 Motorsports announced that Ryan Ellis has been signed to their 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series, (NNS) program. Ellis will be serving as the Team’s resident driver, doing testing and race driving for SR2 owner Jason Sciavicco. His first 2014 event for SR2 will be this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the the team’s #24 Toyota Camry, sponsored by Superlite Cars, a Michigan-based manufacturer of exotic street and race cars. The full extent of Ellis' program will depend on their ongoing sponsorship searches, but plans are in place for a number of 2014 races.
Ellis ran five NNS races with SR2 in 2013, and quickly became a favorite of fans and crew members alike. With today’s announcement comes the certainty that he’ll be racing much more this year, as the 24 year old sets out for what will be his most ambitious year ever in NASCAR.
“I’m happy to be back racing with SR2 and Toyota this year,” explained Ellis. “It’s really what I had hoped for all last off-season. Jason is a great guy and I am truly honored that he has brought me back and into this expanded role on his team.”
Ellis will likely be assigned driving duties in both the SR2 Motorsports #24 and #00 Toyota Camry’s over the course of the season, as the Team looks to build on the last several years of experience in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
“We are really excited to have Ryan as a part of our program this year. He showed a tremendous amount of talent last year and is a very likeable young man who is committed to this sport. We have big plans going forward, and Ryan is now positioned to be a major part of them,“ Sciavicco added.
Ryan’s 2014 program actually began in February at Daytona Beach International Speedway in Jim Rosenblum’s FDNY #28 Chevy Silverado, which Ellis drove from a 34th starting position to a solid 18th place finish in the season-opening NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. He'll continue driving for the part-time FDNY Truck program throughout 2014, with 3 more races in the works.
It was in the NASCAR Nationwide series where the Virginian first impressed many NASCAR observers last season. Ellis is a veteran of Grand AM professional road racing, where he was 2011 CTSCC ST Rookie of the Year and went on to finish 3rd in the series Championship. He is also the factory race driver for Superlite Cars of Frasier, MI, where he pilots 700 horsepower Prototypes in National competition.
Ellis and the rest of the NASCAR Nationwide Series take to the track at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Boyd Gaming 300 on Saturday, March 8, and ESPN2 will have a live telecast with announcer Allen Bestwick as well as analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree. The broadcast will also feature pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, and Dr. Jerry Punch. NASCAR Countdown airs at 4 p.m. ET while the green flag will fly at 4:31 p.m. The race telecast will air on ESPN Deportes at 4 a.m. on Sunday, March 9.
Be sure to subscribe to the West Palm Beach Motorsports Examiner, and keep track of your favorite racers, no matter how many (or how few) wheels they may or may not race on. If you're a motorsports fan, and know of an event, team, or person you'd like to see profiled, please let me know. Also, be sure to follow me on twitter, and read my articles about local getaways,HOAs,elections, and restaurants.