Ryan Truex, Camping World Series East Champion, hopes to follow in Joey Logano's footsteps with a win at the Toyota All-Star Showdown in Irwindale, California this January. Just like Logano, Truex hopes to follow up his championship with a win at the race dubbed the "Daytona 500 of short track racing."
"I'm really excited about the Showdown," Truex said. "You're racing against some of the best drivers in the country."
"All of those guys can drive and they have the records to prove it," Truex continued. "If you win the Showdown, you can say you've beaten the best of the best."
Truex is the first driver from the East Series to confirm that he will complete in the prestigious race. Other eligible drivers include those who won a race in either the Camping World East or West Series, as well as the champions from the six regional touring series and the Whelen All-American Series national champion.
The starting grid will be set by time trials, including limited provisions for Camping World Series regulars who can make the trip to Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. There is also a last-chance "Open" race to allow drivers one final opportunity to race their way into the show.
As one of NASCAR'S youngest champions, Truex, currently 17 years old, will visit the track for the first time. "I've never raced at Irwindale before," Truex said. "So that adds another level of excitement for me."
"Everyone talks about how great the track is," Truex continued. "I can't wait to get the NAPA Auto Parts Camry out there and see what we can do."
Truex is one of the developmental drivers for Michael Waltrip Racing. He is also the younger brother of Martin Truex, Jr., who will be joining MWR for the 2010 Cup season.
Waltrip has decided to go all out for his young champion at the Showdown. The team and NAPA are designing an entirely new paint scheme for the car, replacing the white No. 00 Toyota that Truex raced in the East Series with a blue, NAPA-themed scheme.
After competing in the Showdown, Truex will get back to business, defending his title in the Camping World Series East in 2010. As soon as he turns 18 years of age in March, MWR also plans to race Truex in select Nationwide Series races, specifically paired with his older brother Martin.
"We're going to have some fun with that," Martin Truex. Jr. said. "I'm excited to race with my brother. It will be fun racing and sharing things about our cars."
While all of this excitement will occur for Ryan Truex in the New Year, the young driver is still celebrating his accomplishments from this past season. Truex won three races and had eight top ten finishes.
Along with Joey Logano, Truex became just the second driver in the Camping World Series to win the championship, as well as Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors, in the same season.
The 2010 Toyota All-Star Showdown will take place on January 29th to January 30th at the Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, California. In addition to the Showdown, the race weekend will also include a 100-lap Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model race, as well as a 75-lap Late Model race.
Both nights of racing will air live on SPEED.