Just a few days ago the NASCAR world was thrown a curve-ball when it learned Ryan Truex, the younger brother of 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr., would not be returning to Hattori Racing for the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.
The announcement caught many off-guard, especially after Truex finished ninth in his first full-time season in the series. During the 2017 campaign he managed eight top-5 finishes and 13 top-10’s. Not typically the type of numbers you’d see a guy losing his ride over.
The initial reports stated that it was Truex that decided to walk away as was indicated by a tweet from Lee Spencer, editor of Motorsport.
In a recent interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Mike Greci of Hattori Racing disclosed what he says is the reason for the move with the No. 16.
Greci said it came down to money.
Some of the sponsors Truex had in 2017 weren’t willing to do what it would take to run in 2018.
“It’s an expensive series to race at and where we were at with Ryan we were looking through his sponsors,” Greci said. “They put a great deal of effort into this first year here in 2017 which was a big part of our success with their funding.
“Looking at it going forward dealing with Ryan’s sponsors and I don’t want to get into their particular names because it’s not fair,” Greci added. “But they decided they weren’t going to be able to continue the funding that we needed to go forward.”
Greci went on to share that it was simply a business decision.
“It’s not that Ryan did anything wrong, I mean honestly we were all kinda’ looking forward to 2018 and being stronger and better yet,” Greci said.
“Our program is in much better shape, it had nothing to do with performance or anything else,” Greci added. “It’s kind of dollars and cents, it’s so hard to do it here, I don’t know how to explain it other than that.”
It’s currently unknown as to what Truex’s plans are for the upcoming season. With just over a month to go until the seasons starts, hopefully he figures something out soon.