Ryan Truex gets full-time Truck ride with Hattori Racing Enterprises

Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

After a part-time run last season, Ryan Truex will join the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) tour full-time with Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) in 2017.

Truex, 24, will compete in the team’s No. 16 Toyota in his first season on a NASCAR national series tour. Scott Zipadelli, who earned a victory with Brett Moffit in 2016, will serve as the team’s crew chief.

A native of Mayetta, N.J., Truex made 15 of his 19-career NCWTS starts with HRE in 2016, earning a career-best finish of second in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. The younger brother of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) star Martin Truex, Jr., ultimately competed in the opening six races of the season, falling no further than sixth in the series standings before funding woes forced his team to a part-time schedule.

Truex hopes to mimic HRE’s early success in the coming season.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to race my first full National Series Season with HRE and Toyota Racing in 2017,” Truex said. “We started 2016 on a strong note and were able to contend inside the playoffs prior to stepping out of the truck after Charlotte. I know we can have similar, if not better results in 2017 and I’m looking forward to contending for race wins and hopefully making the playoffs this season.”

A former Toyota prospect, Truex’s nine-year NASCAR career also includes 26 MENCS starts, 39 XFINITY Series drives and two K&N Pro Series East championships in 2009 and ’10.

“Ryan has the pedigree of a great driver and is even a better person,” HRE owner Shige Hattori said. “It was an honor to have him drive our trucks last season and I’m looking forward to competing for the championship with him and the team this season. We recently moved into a new state-of-the-art shop facility and have recruited fantastic team personnel for this season. We feel like we’ve done everything to improve our organization which should result in competitive results. I know the No. 16 Toyota Tundra will compete for race wins this season.”

The 2017 Truck Series season will open with the Feb. 24 NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona.

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