NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver Angela Ruch will be in a unique class this weekend at Kansas Speedway.
She’ll not only celebrate being back behind the wheel of the No. 44 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado, she’ll also celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday as a first-time mother.
One of two twin nieces of 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope, Angela Ruch will be competing in her first race since she and husband Mike Ruch adopted a baby boy who turned two months old Thursday. The couple borrowed from chess piece names to christen their first child King Knight Ruch (pronounced “rook”).
“Racing on my first Mother’s Day weekend truly feels like a blessing,” Angela Ruch said in a team media release. “I cannot think of a better way to celebrate motherhood than by showing my son to never stop pursuing your passions.”
This will be Ruch’s second start of the season for Niece Motorsports. Her first two starts of the season were for Joe Nemechek’s team, including finishing the highest of all female racers (eighth place) in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in February.
She went on to finish 16th at Las Vegas and was 31st in her first run for Niece Motorsports at Texas, being eliminated early after a wreck just 18 laps into the event.
Angela Ruch was recently on NBC affiliate WCNC-TV in Charlotte and talked at length about her racing career, but more importantly, about becoming a mother.
“Mike and I have struggled to get to where we are today, to try and get a baby, but also the hard work and dedication it takes,” Angela Ruch said on WCNC of her husband. “But the reward is so big in the end. It’s all worth all those tears and that sweat and that blood just to get to that end game – and it’s there for everybody.”
It was a lengthy and occasionally frustrating process to adopt King, Angela noted. While the couple was going through the process and awaiting King’s arrival, they began filming for an online reality show – “The Ruch Life” – that traces their path to becoming adoptive parents, as well as to heighten awareness for other couples that may be considering adoption.
“It’s basically our story, going through the adoption process, a lot of highs and lows, a lot of tears going through it, a lot of failed adoptions,” Angela Ruch told WCNC.
The couple had to go through potential adoption proceedings with three different mothers, only to see each one of those efforts fall through.
But finally, the fourth time was the charm.
“In the end it was very rewarding for us because we finally get the little boy of our dreams,” Angela Ruch told WCNC. “All the while, trying to race NASCAR and to be one of the top females in the sport is a challenge in itself.
“These moments are live and they’re real emotions. But it’s kind of cool we can share our story and all these challenges because there’s so many people out there looking to adopt or going through the adoption process. We’re all there together and go through the same challenges.”
As for how she’ll celebrate her first Mother’s Day on Sunday, Ruch beamed and said of her new son, “He’s like perfect. They grow up so fast so you cherish every moment.”