LIVONIA – A small-town Livonia man who married his high school sweetheart and chased a dream sailed to the head of the world stage as his truck racing team took the championship at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Ryan ‘Rudy’ Fugle, 31, is crew chief for the Kyle Bush Motorsports team, who won the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series when driver Erik Jones, 19, drove their No. 4 Toyota truck across the finish line. His parents, Larry and Karin Fugle, say that Ryan was always the kid who wanted to live and breathe racecars.
“We’re very proud, very much so,” said Larry Fugle, owner of Fugle’s Inc. Autoparts at 5278 South Livonia Road in Livonia. “He always had an interest in cars, he was always very good in mathematics and liked being around cars. When he was very, very young he always said he wanted to be a car racer or owner. We all have dreams, and I guess this was one that came true.”
Karin Fugle said that ever since second grade Ryan has wanted to race cars.
“In second grade Ryan wrote a book saying he wanted to be an engineer and race cars,” said Karen Fugle. “He got a scholarship to go to RIT and had a job before he left college.”
Larry Fugle added that during his first year of college, Ryan decided to head to North Carolina, where he currently lives.
“He did his first year of college at RIT for engineering, then thought he should get down to North Carolina, to UNC Charlotte, and that’s were he did his last three years,” said Larry Fugle. “He and a friend from class sent in their resumes to Robery Yates Motorsports, which later sold its cars, equipment, and some personnel, Ryan was one of them, to Germain Racing. He started when he was 21 and he’s 31 now, so I guess that makes it about ten years he’s been doing this.”
Larry Fugle added that it was Ryan’s work ethic and willingness to chase the dream that made his success possible.
“It’s hard work, and he puts in the long hours,” said Larry Fugle. “Sometimes he works 6 to 6 every day, and there might be a race on the weekends.”
Through all of the adventures that led Ryan to North Carolina and the world racing championships, Carie, his high school sweetheart from Livonia, continues to be at his side. They are raising their two girls and two boys at their home in Salisbury, N.C.