Ryan Truex will make his Sprint Cup debut for in the April 27 race at Richmond International Raceway for Phoenix Racing.
General manager Steve Barkdoll told ESPN.com the 21-year-old younger brother of Cup driver Martin Truex, Jr. also will drive in the June 2 Cup race at Dover and the July 27 Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Truex will be the fourth driver in the No. 51 Chevrolet that is a surprising eight in owner’s point when he gets to Richmond.
Regan Smith, who is scheduled for eight to 10 races while driving a fulltime Nationwide schedule for JR Motorsports, was seventh in the Daytona 500. AJ Allmendinger, who will be in the car this weekend at Auto Club Speedway in California, was 11th at Phoenix and 13th this past week at Bristol.
Austin Dillon was 21st at Las Vegas.
Allmendinger was scheduled to drive for James Finch’s single-car team based out of Spartanburg, S.C., on April 7 at Martinsville and May 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. But because of his IndyCar schedule for Penske Racing, he will be replaced in those events by Smith.
Barkdoll said the decision to put Truex in the car at Richmond and Dover was made “because he’s got talent and we’re trying different things.”
“This year is kind of open to a lot of things,” said Barkdoll, noting the 51 is unsponsored for Sunday’s race. “We think Ryan has some talent. He’s done some testing for some other teams and has done well.”
Truex ran the Truck Series opener at Daytona for owner Turner Scott Motorsports and hopes to run more races in that series. He started ninth but crashed and finished 28th. Truex won the K&N Pro Series East in 2009 and 2010, winning five of 21 races.