Rick Ware Racing continues to expand its Monster Energy Cup Series operations. On Friday, the team announced the formation of a fourth Cup car, the #54, for J.J. Yeley in 17 August’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Famed thrash metal band Slayer, which is currently embarking on its farewell tour after over three decades, will serve as sponsor. RWR posted an image of the car on Twitter:
Yeley joined RWR for his first NASCAR national series race of 2019 in June, driving the #52 at Pocono Raceway to a thirty-fourth-place finish. He later ran the #51 at Sonoma Raceway and finished thirty-eighth, followed by twelfth in the #52 at the rain-shortened Daytona International Speedway.
The team currently fields the #51 and #52 full-time, with a third car – appropriately numbered 53 – débuting at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. The #53 has run four races to date, with Joey Gase recording its best run of twenty-seventh at Daytona. #54 has not been used in the Cup Series since 2003, when Todd Bodine ran the full schedule in the #54 BelCar Racing Ford; the number’s final race was an eleventh-place run at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In fourteen career Cup races at Bristol, Yeley’s best finish is thirteenth at the 2007 summer event with Joe Gibbs Racing. His 2018 Night Race was cut short by a wreck with Martin Truex Jr. late in the running and to finish thirty-second.