Cody Ware has set his plans for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. He will return to Rick Ware Racing for a full season in the No. 51 Ford Mustang, marking his largest season to date.
The North Carolina native made the announcement on Friday, January 14, during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. He confirmed that he will run the full season, starting with the Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum and the Daytona 500 on February 20.
Ware did not provide any updates about his sponsor plans, but team owner Rick Ware added some more information. He confirmed on Twitter that Nurtec ODT will return as a primary partner after it sponsored the No. 51 for 31 races in 2021. Though he did not reveal the number of races that will feature the purple scheme.
Ware Started 32 of the 36 Races in 2021
Ware, who has 55 Cup Series starts on his resume, took part in his biggest schedule in 2021. He kicked off the year with a 21st-place finish in the Daytona 500 and then he started 32 of the 36 races. JJ Yeley replaced him at Nashville Superspeedway while James Davison replaced him at Watkins Glen International.
Ware also missed two races late in the season due to medical concerns. He crashed on lap 209 during the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 5. He headed to the infield care center and remained with the medical staff for a considerable amount of time.
Ware explained on Twitter after the crash that had a “nasty bout of carbon monoxide poisoning” but said that he was doing much better after receiving care. However, RWR kept him out of the lineup for races at Richmond Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway as Garrett Smithley and Yeley replaced him.
“After being treated in the infield care center at Darlington Raceway this past weekend, Cody Ware will be sidelined as a precautionary measure for both Richmond Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway,” RWR said in a statement on September 10. “On Monday after being treated, Cody was still feeling adverse effects of Carbon Monoxide. Cody felt that it was in the best interest for the team to have a replacement driver for the next two weeks.”
1 RWR Car Will Feature a Rotating List of Drivers
While Ware will continue to drive the No. 51 Ford on a full-time basis, there will be a rotating group of drivers in the second entry as the team moves from a four-car to a two-car operation.
Ryan Preece will make two regular-season starts — Dover International Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway — in the No. 15, as well as the Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum on February 6. Preece is a reserve driver for Stewart-Haas Racing, but the championship-winning organization has a technical alliance with RWR.
Additionally, David Ragan will make his return to the NASCAR Cup Series and will drive the No. 15 entry during the season-opening Daytona 500. Ragan will also make multiple other starts for RWR during the season, but the team has yet to reveal his full schedule.
RWR will likely feature more drivers in the No. 15 during the 2022 season considering that several made starts for the four-car organization in 2021. Davison, in particular, made 17 of his 20 starts in the No. 15. He also took over the No. 53 and No. 51 for RWR.