Ryan Truex teased his 25,000-plus Twitter followers for most of the past week about an upcoming announcement.
Truex followed through with huge news Monday.
The Stafford Township resident announced two separate deals for the upcoming NASCAR season: One to drive in Friday's Trucks Series race in Daytona Beach, Fla., and another to make his Sprint Cup debut April 27 in Richmond, Va.
"We've got a lot more promising things in the works, but it's great to be able to have something going and to have the ball rolling and to be in good equipment," Truex said in a phone interview Monday evening after a fishing trip in West Palm Beach, Fla., with his father, Martin Sr., and brother, Martin Jr.
Truex, who turns 21 next month, will drive the No. 30 truck for Turner Scott Motorsports, with Bass Pro Shops as his sponsor. The deal is only for one race, but Truex said he hopes to extend it for the rest of the season.
The Cup deal, which is with Phoenix Racing, also is open-ended. No sponsor has been announced yet, but Truex said he could drive in more Cup races depending on the money. As part of the deal, he also will drive in the Nationwide Series race July 27 at Indianapolis.
"We've been looking for anything for the past year, really," Truex said of his search for a team. "We've basically talked to everybody."
Both Phoenix-racing and Turner Scott Motorsports are affiliated with Hendrick Motorsports, so Truex said he anticipates having equipment that will allow him to run up front.
"The last thing we wanted to do was get in a bad situation where I had to run maybe a back-market team or some start-and-parks or something like that," he said, the latter part referring to teams that make money by qualifying for races but immediately head to the garage after the start.
Truex said right now he is focusing on the Trucks race since it is only a few days away. After winning back-to-back NASCAR K&N Pro Series East titles in 2009-10, he raced only partial Nationwide schedules the past two seasons - plus two Trucks races last year - so he is excited at the chance to compete for a championship in the Trucks series.
Last year, the No. 30 truck was driven by Nelson Piquet Jr., who finished seventh in the standings and won two races. Piquet qualified second at Daytona last season and led for 15 of the 109 laps before crashing and finishing 22nd.
"Turner Scott Motorsports' three trucks were the class of the field last year in Daytona, and I have no doubt that we can do the same with four trucks this season," TSM co-owner Harry Scott Jr. said in a news release.
As for Truex's Cup ride, the No. 51 car was driven last season by former Cup champion Kurt Busch and veteran A.J. Allmendinger. Regan Smith will drive it in Sunday's Daytona 500.
Phoenix Racing owner James Finch is an old friend of Truex's father. Ryan said they decided to do a Cup deal because it only costs slightly more to field a Cup car than a Nationwide car, and the potential financial gain is greater.
"It'll be cool to make my Cup debut at only 21 years old," Truex said. "It's kind of crazy to me. I've only been doing this since I was 15. It's all gone really fast."
Richmond is one of Truex's favorite tracks. In three Nationwide starts there over the past two seasons, he has finished eighth, fourth and 16th.
"I've had good runs at that track in the Nationwide Series," he said. "It's a whole other thing racing a Cup race there, but just to know that I've had laps at that track and been able to run there helps a lot."
The Cup race will be an opportunity to race against Martin Jr., a Sprint Cup regular. The brothers have driven in the same race only three times, all in Nationwide races in 2010.
The July 27 Nationwide race at Indianapolis, meanwhile, is one that Truex said Finch wants to win badly. Finch's No. 4 car with Jeremy Clements behind the wheel finished 10th there last season.
None of this was part of the plan Truex and his father laid out a few years ago. Truex hoped to run multiple full Nationwide seasons before moving up to the Cup level.
But things changed. Truex said he had a two-year deal with a top Nationwide team lined up in the offseason, but it fell through. He spent the offseason living with his parents in the Mayetta section of Stafford Township, trying to work something out.
Truex still hopes to get into more races - at any level. He said he wants to do as many interviews as possible this week in Daytona to "beg" for sponsors.
When he does line up another deal, he looks forward to letting his fans know again on Twitter.
"I think I did a good job of teasing people," he said. "A lot of things have been going on for a while and it's nice to be able to finally start getting things out to the public."
Contact Jason Mazda: