Rick Ware Outlines ‘Dream’ for 2022 Cup Series Season

Josh Bilicki

Getty Josh Bilicki races for Rick Ware at Dover International Speedway.

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season has 14 races remaining, but one of the teams is preparing to make some moves to significantly improve in 2022. Rick Ware, the owner of Rick Ware Racing, recently revealed that his dream is to have a very strong two-car setup as opposed to his current operation.

Ware made these comments during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Frontstretch.” He explained that COVID-19 threw off their plans for the 2020 season when it forced the delay of the Next Gen car. The issues put Rick Ware Racing “a year behind” the other Cup Series teams, but now the owner has plans to compete with improved equipment.

“My dream and my goal is to step everything up to the next level, both competition-wise, technology-wise,” Ware said. “You know, we got our first charter in [2019]. The whole idea and premise then was: we were going to start building cars at the end of [2019]. [2020] was when we were going to be rolling out.

“Obviously, the whole world changed,” Ware added. “It all got pushed back. We’re kind of one year behind where we thought we were going to be, but we’re trying to have two really strong cars for next year.”

Bigger Is Not Always Better in NASCAR

RWR fields four stock cars in the Cup Series. The No. 53 — which has been on both a Chevrolet and Ford in the 2021 season — and the No. 15 Chevrolet both feature a rotating list of drivers. Cody Ware primarily controls the No. 51 Chevrolet — with the exception of the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway — while Josh Bilicki runs the No. 52 Ford.

These four stock cars have not competed for wins and top-10 finishes during the 2021 season. Bilicki has two 23rd-place finishes while Cody posted a best finish of 21st in the season-opening Daytona 500. However, the team owner plans on changing this trend.

The Next Gen car will provide assistance to Ware as he strives to make his team more competitive. NASCAR no longer allows teams to manufacture their own parts for the kit cars. Instead, there are 26 approved vendors that will provide parts to the respective teams. The goal is to create parity in the 40-car field, which should benefit teams with less financial capital than the heavy-hitters like Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports.

Ware’s Plans Create Questions About His Charters

With the team owner saying that he wants to have “two really strong cars” for the 2022 session, he automatically creates questions about the future of his charters. Ware currently has four in the Cup Series. According to “Autoweek,” three belong to Rick Ware Racing outright while the fourth is a partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports.

Selling a charter would be an option for Ware, one leading to an influx of cash to make the team better. While NASCAR and its teams do not share information about the price of each charter, there are several reports pointing to a significant increase. JR Motorsports co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. told the “Associated Press” that he had heard a price of $10 million. If Ware sold one of his charters for this reported price, he could use the funds to help him pursue a more competitive two-car team in 2021.

One thing to keep in mind is that Ware may not actually sell either of his charters. He did not explicitly lay out his plans for the 2022 season. He could aim to have two competitive cars and at least one other that he uses to give rotational drivers some seat time.

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