In another surprising IndyCar and NASCAR crossover, Rick Ware Racing and driver James Davison will be entering this year’s Indianapolis 500, as well as three other NASCAR events.
Davison will pilot the #51 Dallara Honda with sponsorship from Jacobs Construction for the race as an entry with Dale Coyne Racing and RWR. He joins former NASCAR Cup Series crew chief Cole Pearn as another NASCAR tie on this year’s grid.
“This is a bucket list item that is huge for me personally,” Ware said in an interview with NBC Sports.
“I’ve actually never even been to the Indianapolis 500. Throughout my whole career, I’ve always been somewhere racing on Memorial Day (weekend).
“I’m ecstatic about even being able to be there and be able to participate has been a huge dream of mine.”
The month of August will be an audacious one for Davison and Ware as they will be running plenty of Cup Series events as well.
Davison will be running the two Cup races at Michigan International Raceway this weekend before flying back to Indianapolis to start three days of practice on 12 August, and to qualify for the 500 on 15 August. Davison will then fly to Daytona International Speedway to run the road course on 16 August, and will return on Friday 21 August for Carb Day practice and of course the 500 that Sunday. After that, he will make one last trip to Daytona to run the Coke Zero 400 on 29 August.
“Being a smaller team, we’ve had just a lot of interest and a lot of excitement about doing something so unique,” said Ware.
“It’s just a really cool deal. People just got excited about the value add as a race team. I’ll be doing a lot of traveling back and forth, but we’re still focusing on (NASCAR). We’ve had multiple top 30s with several of our cars the last several races in Cup.
“We’re making baby steps. So we’re improving, and our sponsors there are really happy. (The Indy 500) is not a diversion. It’s really a value add. So we’ll do whatever we can to make this happen. It’s going to be a lot of miles driven.”
Ware will not be at the track for the 500 itself due to commitments with NASCAR at Dover International Speedway that weekend, but hopes to attend some practices and qualifying with the team.
Davison has seven starts to his name in the NTT IndyCar Series and will be attempting his sixth Indy 500, finishing a career-best 12th in last year’s race. He went on to finish thirtieth his first Cup race with RWR last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.