ryan truex

Ryan Truex will make the third Sprint Cup start of his NASCAR career Sunday in Dover, Del. Truex will drive the No. 51 Chevrolet for Phoenix racing, and he will be competing in the same 43-car field as older brother Martin Jr.

Ryan Truex's goal this weekend isn't winning the race.

The 21-year-old from Stafford Township will drive in his third NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.

"This weekend is my first Sprint Cup race (at Dover)," Truex said in a phone interview Friday afternoon. "I'm just looking for experience and to try and earn these tough guys' respect and try to have a good finish.

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"I'm just trying to keep the car in one piece and get in as many laps as I can, and like I said, to get as much respect as I can."

Truex considers Dover to be his home track and is excited about the opportunity to race with his older brother, Martin Jr., in front of family and friends

Driving the No. 51 Shooters Sporting Center Chevrolet on Friday, Truex qualified 36th for Sunday's race. Martin Jr. qualified 10th in the 43-car field.

The elder Truex brother competed in his first Cup race in 2004 and has made 289 career starts at NASCAR's highest level. Ryan said he has enjoyed racing with Martin Jr., who is 33.

"It's really cool, and it's a little tough for my parents because they're kind of on edge the whole race because they've got both of their sons out there," Ryan said. "It's really cool for me and something I've been waiting awhile to do."

Martin Jr. is pretty excited about,too. At his foundation's charity event on Wednesday in Manahawkin, he talked a little bit about the experience his little brother is getting in the Sprint Cup series.

"Obviously for him it's a big opportunity ... and Dover has obviously been his best race track, I would say," the older brother said, referring to Ryan's second-place finish in a Nationwide race on June 2, 2012.

"It's a pretty big weekend for him to show some people what he's made of and to continue to work on hopefully getting him in a competitive .... (situation) for him next year."

Ryan is a member of Richard Petty Motorsports as a part of its developmental system but is competing this weekend for another team, Phoenix Racing. In his previous two Sprint Cup races, both for Phoenix, he placed 42nd on Aug. 24 after completing only 39 laps at Bristol Motor Speedway and 35th at Richmond International Raceway, completing 395 of the 400 laps.

He said his more long-term goal is to get a full year in Nationwide, NASCAR's second-tier series, in 2014. That step is going to be important in his development as a racecar driver, said Sammy Johns, the competition manager for RPM.

"That's really our focus next year for him, is to get funding to take him to the Sprint Cup level," Johns said Friday by telephone. "Any time you sign a developmental driver, that's the path you want to take him on."

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