By Dustin Albino

Ryan Ellis, arguably, had the best opportunity of his NASCAR career in 2022. He‘s enjoyed it so much that he‘s returning to Alpha Prime Racing for at least 15 races next season. 

“With Ellis, he‘s one of the most reliable veterans in the entire series,” Tommy Joe Martins, co-owner of Alpha Prime Racing, told “To have him back next year is going to give us a little stability that we haven‘t had this year.”

In 10 starts for Alpha Prime in 2022, Ellis has a quartet of top-20 finishes. His best result was in his debut race for the team at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, placing 13th in March. He followed that up by turning in a 16th-place effort at Phoenix Raceway the next week. 

Returning with Ellis is his primary sponsor, Keen Parts. The pairing have been connected dating back to when Ellis was the public relations manager at Go Fas Racing with Matt DiBenedetto as the team‘s driver in 2018. After taking the 2020 season off from competing and working away from the racetrack, Keen Parts has sponsored Ellis in 10 of his 16 Xfinity Series races. 

“[Ellis‘] long-run speed has been tremendous all year,” Martins added. “He‘s been extremely consistent and brings cars home clean every week.”

Depending on where the Nos. 44 and 45 cars end up in points this year will determine which car Ellis competes in next year. In 2022, he‘s competed in the No. 44 car nine races, while making just one start in the No. 45 Chevrolet at Dover. He failed to qualify at Martinsville running the same car number.

Currently, the No. 44 car ranks 25th in the owner standings with the No. 45 car sitting 31st. The team is hoping to start Ellis at Daytona, but is uncertain which race will be his first. 

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