NASCAR driver Ryan ellis will take the wheel again on Saturday for his fourth race of the 2021 XFINITY season. Ellis, an extraordinary road course, will lead the no. 78 owned by BJ McLeod Motorsports at Road America near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The Northern Virginia native and big fan of the Washington Capitals will team up with a familiar sponsor.
We! This hockey blog here.
“It’s always great to have Russian Machine on the car and to have the support of my NASCAR friend Ian,” Ellis said in a text message. “I hope we keep this RMNB logo clean unlike Dover, otherwise Ian might rethink the sponsorship. And our friendship.
(That is true.)
– BJ McLeod Motorsports (@TeamBJMcLeod) July 2, 2021
Ellis will compete in a red Independence Day-themed race car at 2:30 p.m. ET which is primarily sponsored by Rich Mar Florist and a host of other supporters.
We will @XfinityRacing with @ryanellisracing of @TeamBJMcLeod this weekend and we’re back with our friends @diecast_b and a new partner @machinerusse for @roadamerica. This Diecast is @ryanellisracing the first one and so be sure to visit @diecast_b order. pic.twitter.com/Zjy71vmVYK
– Rich Mar Florist (@RichMarFlorist) June 28, 2021
“Road America is a track close to my heart,” said Ellis. “I’ve run a lot of races there in different series throughout my life and have always been very successful. We’ve had a lot of really cool companies, big and small, joining us for this weekend and it’s always very meaningful that people support me in this type of way.
Road America is the longest track on the NASCAR circuit, a breathtaking 4,048 mile road course that forces drivers to find speed in and out of bends. He is best known for “The Kink”. After a “Plunging descent carousel tour” drivers enter the fast right turn 11, which has caused numerous accidents over the years.
– NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 3, 2021
Former NHL and KHL player Tim stapleton of Boikey’s lends his support behind the car this weekend. Boikey’s sells protein snacks for athletes. Stapleton, who is part owner and COO, played part of four seasons in the NHL with Atlanta, Winnipeg and Toronto and then spent part of a season with the Metallurg Magnitogorsk during the 2014-15 campaign. Ilya Samsonov was his teammate.
“I spent most of my professional hockey career in Europe / Russia and team sponsorship was paramount,” Stapleton said. “Not only is it exciting for Boikey’s to be this sponsor today, but what better opportunity than NASCAR! It’s an honor Ryan drives our very first sponsored car! We can’t wait to get a taste of the sport of NASCAR and become true fans. “
Ellis continued his pilot career while juggling a full-time marketing job, performing the popular Not another racing podcast with NASCAR Cup regular Matt DiBenedetto, his best friend, looking after his beautiful wife Allison who is nearly eight months pregnant, playing in a beer hockey league and attending graduate school. He also has sometimes respond to texts from me within the same hour.
The race will mark an important milestone for Ellis. Circle B Diecast will produce Ryan’s first official diecast car, which will be on pre-order soon in a few days. The design will be based on his Road America car. Ryan made his series debut in 2012, nine years ago.
“Obviously the die-casting really differentiates itself this weekend for the partners that we have on the car,” Ellis said. “This is my first miniature sold publicly. I am really delighted to have it for my partners and for my future daughter who will soon be here to destroy it in a few weeks.
Other sponsors who will team up with Ellis include Audio-video specialists, thirty thirty Coffee Co., Guaranteed rate affinity, Face to face hockey show, Hunting with soldiers, Lime tree, and that of Fletcher Brantner Firebird designs who designed the car. Ryan cultivated these sponsorships through honesty, hard work and a loyal friendship.
“Ryan and I have become more than just a sponsor and pilot, seeing it come full circle and having our company as the main sponsor this weekend says a lot about the pilot and the person Ryan is,” Rich Mar of Rich Mar Florist mentionned. “I have no doubt that he will give us a great race at Road America and continue to be a great brand representative for Rich Mar Racing this weekend and beyond.”
Ellis’ weekend on the track started well on Friday. The third-generation driver completed the 18th fastest lap in practice, beating his teammate this weekend, 2014 NASCAR Cup champion Kevin Harvick.
Practice results @roadamerica!
– BJ McLeod Motorsports (@TeamBJMcLeod) July 2, 2021
“We have a very good race car for the budget of our small team,” said Ellis. “We’re on a very small fraction of what these large teams are running on staff and on budget. So for us going out there and beating several big teams is really promising going into race day. “
This season, Ellis has two top 25s in three starts, including a 16th at Darlington. In his last race at Mid Ohio, Ellis was putting the finishing touches on a top 15 before being taken out by close friend Cody Ware on the final lap. (Before the race, Ryan warned Cody not to destroy him on Twitter.) Ware and his father Rick, apologized to Ryan for the blunder by offering him a Cup-level race later in the year. This will be the first time Ryan returns to NASCAR’s big leagues since 2016.
Ellis previously teamed up with RMNB during the pandemic, driving an RMNB digital car in nationally televised iRacing races while the NASCAR season was on hold. RMNB was also Ryan’s main sponsor in the Dover Xfinity race in 2016 – Dale Jr.’s final victory – and his 2015 Ryan’s Cup debut at Pheonix.
Saturday race will air at 2:30 p.m. on NBC.
Here’s a little more on Ryan’s sponsorship team this weekend. Several of Ryan’s contacts thanked him and left him with surprise encouragement.
Rich Mar Florist
Rich Mar Florist delivers flowers and gifts to Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and the Greater Lehigh Valley, PA area.
“Ryan reached out to me via Twitter last season and told me he’s back to racing,” said Mar. “A simple Twitter DM and an invitation to play Call Of Duty with our friend and fellow NASCAR driver Garrett Smithley have become a daily occurrence. I have to admit that Ellis is definitely the best in the Call of Duty Squad. I really got to know Ryan over the pandemic and over the last year. He is confident in his back to racing and hope to see more of him this season and beyond behind the wheel I’m very happy Ryan is becoming a dad, I know he will raise his daughter to be a winner just like him. While I won’t be there in person for Road America, I will be cheering from a distance and then criticizing his performance on WarZone next week.
Audio-video specialists design and install high quality smart home, home theater and home automation systems in suburban Chicago.
“As a small business, we always look forward to working with Ryan when we can,” said Casey Elliott. “He is not only a great ambassador of NASCAR sport, but also of all the companies that accompany him. He will go above and beyond his “obligations” to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. His background in marketing and his determination to succeed make him an excellent partner. And my son loves it, so that’s a plus too!
Lime tree is a marketing and advertising company that combines data and behavioral science into actionable and measurable marketing activities. The company is headquartered in Dallas.
“We’re a company built on passion, and Ryan, and the partners who are on the car with us, all share that trait,” said Michael Meadows, chief strategy officer for Limetree. “We love to share Ryan’s story with our team here and hope they will be inspired by Ryan and a great effort this weekend.”
Michael added that he lives in Pittsburgh and has been a Penguins fan since the mid-80s. Tragic, but we will forgive him. Over the years, he said he always loved to hate Mike Gartner, Dino Ciccarelli and Dale Hunter.
“I originally sponsored a Go Fas Racing car as a surprise to my dad when Ryan was the PR manager,” Meadows said. He was sort of our ‘garage sherpa’, getting us through it all and making sure my dad was having a good time. Honestly, we really enjoyed it and our time very much – we had a good experience of the typical NASCAR garage experience, and Ryan was just a lot more authentic and engaging. After talking about his goals, I saw a post that he was looking to lead the Chili Bowl. My dad raised me by going dirt racing, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to support a passionate project for Ryan that coincided with a personal interest, and we’ve done that a few times now.
Guaranteed rate affinity
Guaranteed rate affinity, according to their website, “offers the best possible mortgage experience, with incredibly low rates, fantastic customer service, and a quick and easy process.”
“There was no doubt that you wanted to sponsor Ryan,” said James Clark, vice president of mortgages. “He’s a great competitor and I can’t wait to see him compete. My children and I have followed him over the years and we are very grateful to have the opportunity to help him.
thirty thirty Coffee Co.
thirty thirty Coffee Co. is a locally owned, independent cafe in Peoria, Illinois. Road America will mark the second sponsored 33rd race of the season (fourth overall) with Ryan and the team.
“We’re committed to helping Ryan and others on many motorsport platforms get on the right track,” said owner Steve Elmore. “With Ryan, his incredible work ethic, his passion for every project he gets involved in and his love for hockey make it easier for us to make a decision when planning our annual sponsorship budget. In addition, his attention to detail aligns perfectly with our company’s service and manufacturing philosophy. We are delighted to once again be a tiny part of the journey he has taken. “
If you would like to sponsor or support Ryan in the future, contact us and we’ll get back to you. (He really really deserves your support.)
Title photo: Logan Arce via Ryan Ellis