Rick Ware Racing will be a two-car effort for the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. On Wednesday afternoon, the team announced it will field two cars in NASCAR’s second tier on a full-time basis. Numbers, manufacturers, and drivers were not immediately revealed.
“2021 is shaping up to be a great season for Rick Ware Racing,” said team owner Rick Ware. “This is our 30 Year Anniversary being involved in motorsports, and I can’t think of a better way to showcase how far we’ve come, than to get back to our roots in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.”
RWR primarily races in the NASCAR Cup Series, where it fields a four-car fleet, but made a return to the Xfinity Series in mid-October at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval with Cody Ware. Ware, son of the team owner, piloted the #17 Ford Mustang to a seventh-place finish for his first career NASCAR national series top ten. J.J. Yeley, who also races for the team at the Cup level, took over the #17 for last Saturday’s race at Martinsville Speedway, where he finished fourteenth.
After being primarily a Truck Series team in the 2000s, RWR moved up to the now-Xfinity Series on a regular basis at the turn of the decade. Kevin O’Connell holds the team’s best finish in the series of third at Road America in 2014.
While the team did not field a full-time Xfinity car from 2017 to 2019 as it invested into the Cup program, it partnered with Mike Harmon Racing in 2019 to run the #17. In May 2020, RWR formed an alliance with SS-Green Light Racing to operate the #07 after SSGLR’s regular driver Ray Black Jr. stepped away from the sport to address his family business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the #07 has been shared by various drivers including those who have also spent time in an RWR Cup car. The last two years also saw RWR dabble in other forms of motorsport, winning the 2019–20 Asian Le Mans LMP2 Am championship and running the Indianapolis 500 in August with Cup driver James Davison.
Even with the return to the Xfinity Series, the team intends to continue operating at the Cup level; Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass tweeted after the announcement that he “checked with the team as far as Cup plans and it is anticipating having four Cup cars next year. It could change to three but it anticipates four.” Among the team’s Cup cars are the #51 and #53, as well as the #27 and #15 acquired from Premium Motorsports. RWR also maintains an alliance with B.J. McLeod Motorsports.