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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Cody Ware to return to Rick Ware Racing as full-time driver of No. 51

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In 2022, Rick Ware Racing is looking to take a step up in competitiveness in the NASCAR Cup Series, as they have switched to Ford and entered a technical alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing. But they’ll keep a major part of their operation in the family, as the team’s flagship No. 51 will once again be piloted by the company’s namesake.

On Friday, Cody Ware confirmed during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that he will return as the full-time driver of Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 Ford for 2022. Ware, the son of car owner Rick Ware, ran full-time in Cup for the first time last season after building his racing resume through road racing and limited starts in NASCAR.

Ware competed in 32 of 36 races last season, missing four starts due to a combination of conflicts with IndyCar and carbon monoxide poisoning he suffered during the Southern 500 at Darlington.

Ware spent most of the 2021 season as an also-ran, finishing anywhere from the low twenties to the high thirties with a best finish of 21st in the Daytona 500. There were, however, a few bright spots. Ware ran competitively at Pocono Raceway, and was also the leader for a prolonged period of time during a rain delay in the fall race at Talladega.

Away from the track, Ware has gained a following in NASCAR thanks to his unique personality, specifically his enjoyment of hobbies such as anime and video games. At Talladega, Ware quipped over his team radio that leading the race was “megapoggers, very poggers”, a gamer term used to express excitement or enthusiasm. Ware has also served as a mental health advocate in the Cup garage, speaking openly about personal struggles he has had with trauma and depression.

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