NASCAR Cup Series

Rick Ware Racing forms alliance with Stewart-Haas, Ford

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Credit: Rick Ware Racing

Rick Ware Racing will team up with the Blue Oval in 2022. On Sunday, RWR announced they have forged an alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Performance, and Roush Yates Engines beginning with the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.

RWR currently fields four full-time cars in the Cup Series. With no genuine manufacturer support, three of the four—all driven by multiple drivers—has bounced between Chevrolet and Ford cars throughout the season. The lone exception, the #52 mainly driven by Josh Bilicki, has exclusively been a Ford. The #52 will be piloted by Joey Hand in Sunday’s race at the Charlotte Roval, and his Ford factory driver status has enabled SHR to prepare the car for him.

The Roval race with Hand and the 2022 season will not be the first time that SHR and RWR worked together. In 2018, RWR fielded the #51 on a three-race schedule for current SHR driver Cole Custer; also driving an SHR-prepared car, he never finished higher than twenty-fifth but caught eyes in his final start when he qualified tenth. Custer “returned” to the team for the Xfinity Series race at Circuit of the Americas in May when SHR allied with RWR, who in turn was running a car with SS-Green Light Racing. The RWR/SSGLR #17 car has mainly been a Chevrolet but has also utilised Ford and Toyota power.

“Rick and his team have been great to work with over the years and we are looking forward to growing the existing relationship,” said SHR president and Cole’s father Joe Custer.

The two teams also already work together on pit road as RWR uses SHR’s junior pit crew members seeking to gain live experience.

“I am really excited about what 2022 has in store for RWR,” Rick Ware stated. “We have been waiting for the Next Gen car to become a reality and step up our programme. RWR has had a great relationship with SHR over the years, from Cole Custer making his Cup Series début with us, to utilizing their development pit crew over the years. I am excited to have an engineering alliance with a great team like SHR, to be able to assist in building our cars and have the support thru this major development process, all the way through the 2022 season. Partnering with Roush Yates Engines and SHR is the logical next step in continuing to grow as an organisation.”

The team has not confirmed if they will continue as a four-car stable in 2022. Although they have charters to keep racing with all four (the #51’s is shared with Richard Petty Motorsports, though RWR holds all operational duties), it is likely that Ware sells off some and continues as a two- or three-car group. Such a move would come with little surprise considering the team’s performance; the highest-running car in the quartet is the #51 who sits just thirty-third in owner points, while the #15 is the second-worst full-time team in thirty-seventh.

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