Without sponsorship RAB Racing was forced to play its hand at Kenny Wallace’s expense. It was announced today that Ryan Truex will replace Wallace in the #09 Toyota for this Friday’s race, the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 from Texas Motor Speedway.
Wallace had been active on Twitter discussing the fact that without sponsorship, he would not be able to continue to drive the car. He struggled out of the gate finishing 30th at Daytona and 36th at Phoenix. Rebounded slightly with an 11th place run at Las Vegas, took a step back at Bristol finishing 33rd, but got a 7th place finish in the last race at Auto Club Speedway. This is another disturbing sign of the times that a popular driver like Wallace can’t secure funding when running good. 2011 was a resurgence year for Wallace, finishing 7th in points and posting 11 top ten finishes. With the finish at Auto Club Speedway, the thinking was this team was on the up and up. It was confirmed that Wallace will drive for the team again at Talladega.
His struggles opened the door for the 20 year old Truex who will be attempting his 27th career race and 3rd of 2012. He races for Joe Gibbs Racing at Daytona (31st) and Bristol (10th) and has some more races scheduled with that team. In the meantime he will bring his sponsor Grime Boss with him to the #09 car. Per RAB Racing’s website, Truex has this to say about the opportunity, “I can’t thank Grime Boss enough for supporting the development of my career. We’re working hard to gain as much experience by running as many tracks as possible this year with the hopes of running a full Nationwide Series schedule in 2013. I appreciate RAB Racing for giving me the opportunity to get behind the wheel of their No. 09 Toyota. They’ve had strong cars every week, and I can’t wait to get to Texas.”
It’s worth noting that Trevor Bayne was not on the entry list for Texas either due to lack of sponsorship as well.
Also as an added bonus, the RAB Racing website will be getting an overhaul to help fans and the media follow them for the rest of the year. I’d better bookmark their page now!