By Kyle McFadden
May 6, 2018
DOVER, Del.—Cody Ware entered 2018 with no plans to compete in NASCAR this season. He instead channeled his focus toward superbike racing, since his budget aligned more comfortably in the biking world—until his father and Monster Energy Cup Series team owner Rick Ware needed help.
The 22-year-old racer from Greensboro, North Carolina, told The Racing Experts he plans to run at least three Cup Series races this season in the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing machine, which included Sunday’s Drive for Autism 400 at Dover International Speedway.
“It’s definitely a last-minute deal, it’s a pleasant surprise,” Cody Ware said. “I’ve been doing a lot of superbike racing. I’ve been on two wheels a lot this year. So that’s where my main focus as a driver [has been].
“I wasn’t planning on doing a whole lot of NASCAR this year, but, obviously, when the opportunity arises and when my dad needs a driver, I’m not going to say no by any means.”
Kansas, the Open (All Star preliminary race), Sonoma, Watkins Glen and the Charlotte Roval are all on Ware’s radar, depending on adequate funding and sponsorship. This week, Keen’s Buildings was the primary sponsor.
If more sponsorship jumps aboard, Ware could be in line for more than three races in the chartered ride.
Ware became the fifth driver of the No. 51 in 11 races this season, joining Harrison Rhodes (five starts), Timmy Hill (three), Cole Custer (one), and Justin Marks (one).
RWR, which didn’t finish a race with Ware behind the wheel last year, has made vast strides this season.
Marks came 12th in this year’s Daytona 500—RWR’s best finish ever—and led the team’s first ever lap in the Cup Series. Custer wheeled the No. 51 to a 25th-place finish at Las Vegas and at Texas, Rhodes managed 22nd.
“Team-wise, I think this year is our best year so far in Cup,” Cody Ware said. “I see the progression really heading in a good direction.”