NASCAR Camping World Series East Champion Ryan Truex is the first driver to confirm his intention to compete in the 2010 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown on Jan. 29-30 in Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.).
“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. If you win the Showdown, you can say you've beaten the best of the best.”
The seventh running of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, which brings together the top racers from across North America for the ”Daytona 500 of short-track racing,” will be highlighted by the 225-lap Camping World Series all-star race. Each race winner during the 2009 Camping World Series season is eligible for a protected starting spot, as are the 2009 champions from each of NASCAR’s six regional touring series and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion.
Truex, a development driver for Michael Waltrip Racing, registered three wins and eight top 10s during the 2009 Camping World Series East season. He became just the second driver in series history, along with Joey Logano, to win the title and Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the same season.
Logano followed up his 2007 championship season by winning the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, something Truex hopes to replicate.
“I've never raced at Irwindale before, so that adds another level of excitement for me,” Truex said. “Everyone talks about how great the track is, so I can't wait to get the NAPA Auto Parts Camry out there and see what we can do.”
The No. 00 Toyota will have a new look for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown as team owner Michael Waltrip wanted to do something special for the event. The all-white car Truex ran during the 2009 season will be transformed to blue for Irwindale, with a paint scheme that NAPA and MWR are currently designing.
Truex, from Mayetta, N.J., plans to return to the Camping World Series East in 2010 to defend his title. MWR also intends to enter him in select NASCAR Nationwide Series races during the second half of the 2010 season. Truex does not turn 18 until next March.
In addition to eligible 2009 race winners and series champions, the starting lineup for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown will be determined through time trials, limited provisionals for Camping World Series regulars, and the last-chance "Open" race that provides drivers one final chance to make the grid.
The 2010 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown schedule also includes 100-lap Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model and 75-lap Late Model races. Both nights of racing will air on SPEED.