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Fender to Fender: An Exclusive Interview with Angela Ruch

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New mom and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver Angela Ruch is not new to the world of racing. Ruch and her twin sister Amber (Cope) began racing Go Karts at a young age and then would make the move to late model race cars. Both sisters would see success, including Angela taking 1st place in 2002 at the Lucas Oil Can-Am 150 at the Sun Valley Speedway. Between 2006 and 2008, Ruch would run three ARCA Series races. Fast forward to 2010 and both sisters would make their NASCAR debut in the then Camping World Truck Series at Martinsville, as well as make history. The twins became the first twins to compete in one of NASCAR’s top-three series.

In 2019, not only has Ruch become a first-time mom to baby King but she continues to race. Ruch has competed in two races for Joe Nemechek’s, NEMCO Motorsports in the No. 8 Chevrolet, finishing 8th and 16th at Daytona International Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, respectively. Starting at Texas Motor Speedway she’s been piloting the No. 44 Chevrolet for Niece Motorsports. Finishing 30th at Texas, she rebounded for a solid 16th place result at Kansas and will look to carry that solid finish over to tomorrow evening’s North Carolina Education Lottery 200 from Charlotte Motor Speedway where she will also be behind the No. 44 Chevrolet.

Ruch recently took the time to answer some questions for me before Friday evening’s race at Charlotte. Here is what she had to say about racing, being a mom, her new reality show and more.

Sarah Handy: Some may forget but you and your sister Amber made history in October of 2010 when you became the first twins to compete in one of NASCAR’s top three series. Looking back that must feel like such an accomplishment? To make your debut at Martinsville too! A track with so much history.

Angela Ruch: When my twin sister Amber and I made our first start side by side at Martinsville Speedway in one of the most elite series, NASCAR truck series, it was a dream come true for us! It’s something Amber and I have worked our whole lives for, and to know that we did it together, it was something we dreamed about since we were little girls.

SH: Looking back on your earlier years in racing from Go Karts to Late Models. What’s your fondest memory or memories?

AR: My fondest memories from go-karting days, I can’t really name just one. I think for me it was traveling every single weekend with my family to different racetracks at such a young age, and dominating in every series that I entered, even against grown men who had been doing it for fifteen plus years. I would say I gained a ton of confidence. Looking back to the go-karting days, those were some of the best memories I’ve ever had. As far as the late model racing, I will always remember when my dad and I drove to Vernon, Canada. Twenty-five cars showed up and I qualified on the pole, then they inverted the field, so I started last. I came up through the field and my crew guys forgot a lug nut, so I came in the pits for a quick stop, got back out, and won the race! My dad and I still talk about that race today (laughs).

SH: Being a mom and a racer in NASCAR, what’s a normal day like for you? Especially if you have a race later in the week.

AR: A normal day for me. I can’t really say sleep is part of that (laughs). I’m an early riser, up by at least 5am, then up will little man King. From there I’m off to the gym, Starbucks stop of course, race shop and then back home for simulator training and baby King time. I have learned when having a baby there is no set schedule these days as I’m trying to adapt to that.

SH: A 16th place finish your first time in a truck at Kansas, and on your first Mother’s Day weekend. Solid finish, were you happy with that?

AR: I think no driver is ever happy with a 16th place finish when our top goal is to win.

SH: You’ve only had four starts on the year but you’re definitely showing a woman can get it done with finishes of 8th, 16th, unfortunately some bad luck due to a crash at Texas but then 16th again last weekend. Do you feel this is really opening eyes to many showing that woman can for sure produce good results on track in NASCAR?

AR: I think as far as showing that women in the sport are more than capable, we have already seen that in the past, Danica Patrick and myself included have all had great finishes. More and more women are starting to come into the sport of NASCAR and they’re getting younger and younger. The sport definitely needs more woman in racing.

SH: Speaking of woman in NASCAR, what advice would you give a young girl who wants to get into racing?

AR: Advice that I would give to any young female driver is to follow your heart and never give up!

SH: Is there anything you wish someone had told you or gave you advice wise before you started racing in NASCAR?

AR: As far as advice or knowledge that I wish I would have known going into NASCAR is to get more experience and by that, I mean I need laps, but those laps are really expensive.

SH: Any plans to run in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season? Even though the series are different, you ran in the NXS last season, any experience must help especially on tracks you’ve never visited before?

AR: If the opportunity allows me to run in some Xfinity races, I would love nothing more.

SH: Have you thought about what it would be like making your Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut?

AR: I dream about racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Series every night.

SH: Some may not know about your TV Show, The Ruch Life. Can you tell me about it some and how it came about?

AR: We had a producer approach my husband and I about doing a docu series on our life. I like to think we live a very interesting life traveling, going through the adoption process all the while trying to be one of the best athletes in a male dominated sport in NASCAR and trying to juggle being a new mom. To stay updated on where to watch The Ruch Life follow our show page on Instagram (@theruchlife), Twitter (@TheRuchLife), or Facebook (@theruchlife).

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About Sarah Handy

Sarah is going into her third year covering NASCAR for Rubbings Racing as well as helping run their Social Media platforms. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah is an avid racing fan as well as a fan of the major New England sports teams. She is currently studying Public Relations and Marketing at SNHU with plans to move to North Carolina after graduation. Sarah also enjoys visiting her home track of NHMS each year, reading, running and photography.

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