With the Washington Capitals’ season over, now is a great time to check in on NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Ryan Ellis – an avid RMNB reader and Caps fan.
Ellis is in the throes of his most successful season to date. He’s run in every Xfinity Series race and — if he can close a couple of open ones later in the year — could end up with the first full season of his career.
Ellis has done it with a lot of hard work, from himself and an incredibly dedicated team around him. He’s also utilized non-traditional ways to land sponsorship such as tweeting at one of his favorite brands.
In March, after competing at the Alsco Uniforms 300 in Las Vegas, Ellis sent a tweet to Raising Cane’s that read “Sponsor us.”
— Ryan Ellis (@ryanellisracing) March 5, 2023
The photo, at the Raising Cane’s location in Vegas, shows Ellis’s Alpha Prime Racing team chowing down on chicken fingers and chicken sandwiches. A framed Vegas Golden Knights jersey hangs on the wall.
Ellis also tweeted at the fast food chain in August of 2022 after teammate Josh Bilicki landed Sargento Cheese as a sponsor after plowing into one of its signs during a crash at Wisconsin’s Road America.
How it started vs how it’s going 😁🧀 pic.twitter.com/oX0ccEt5bJ
— Josh Bilicki (@joshbilicki) August 22, 2022
Ellis figured why not tweet at my favorite foods and see what happens?
— Ryan Ellis (@ryanellisracing) August 10, 2022
Eight months later after seeing those tweets, Raising Cane’s is Ellis’s main sponsor at Talladega for Saturday’s AG-Pro 300. The race will air at 4 pm on FS1.
“Honestly, it’s pretty surreal talking about this,” Ellis said. “I’ve been a huge fan of Raising Cane’s since I first tried it a long time ago. They offer craveable chicken finger meals, and I’ve always been impressed by their speed and service. I listened to Todd Graves’ (Founder and CEO of Raising Cane’s) podcast with Theo Von, and it was so cool hearing his story and how Cane’s got its start. I know that NASCAR fans are customers of Raising Cane’s, and I hope that their love of the brand will continue to grow with Raising Cane’s entry into the sport.”
Ellis could be seen chowing down on the chicken fingers before climbing into his race car for qualifying on Friday.
— Ryan Ellis (@ryanellisracing) April 22, 2023
He also made an appearance at the restaurant.
— Ryan Ellis (@ryanellisracing) April 21, 2023
He’ll start 36th in the race and will be looking to beat out his top finish of the season so far – 15th at Richmond on April 1.
“Raising Cane’s is excited to make its NASCAR debut by sponsoring Ryan and the Alpha Prime Race Racing team at Talladega this season,” Raising Cane’s Founder and CEO Todd Graves said in a press release. “We look forward to cheering Ryan on and seeing the Raising Cane’s ONE LOVE #43 racecar compete in front of thousands of fans at the iconic Talladega Superspeedway.”
For local readers, Raising Cane’s has several locations in the DMV including three locations in Richmond, VA; one in Sterling, VA; and a joint in Waldorf, MD.
The big sponsorship at Talladega comes nearly a year to the day after Ryan landed Heartbeat Hot Sauce on his car and hosted UFC superstar fighter Dustin Poirier at the race.
Raising Cane’s has been one of several brands that have sponsored Ellis this season including Four Loko, Costa Oil, Device 42, Shine Water, and Pella.
Update: Ryan Ellis finished a career best 11th at Talladega.
11th at @TALLADEGA with the @raisingcanes No.45 @TeamChevy. MAN. We were so close to a top-10. Breaks my heart, really. Wanted to give my team the top 10 they deserve, but we still had a great day overall.
— Ryan Ellis (@ryanellisracing) April 23, 2023
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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