NASCAR Cup Series

Joey Hand returns to Ware as road course ringer

2 Mins read
Credit: Rick Ware Racing

Joey Hand is back for more stock car action. On Thursday, Rick Ware Racing announced Hand will drive the #15 Ford Mustang in all six NASCAR Cup Series road course races in 2022. The initerary begins at Circuit of the Americas on 27 March, followed by Sonoma Raceway (12 June), Road America (3 July), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (31 July), Watkins Glen International (21 August), and Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (9 October).

Hand made his NASCAR début last October at the Charlotte Roval, where he finished twenty-seventh in the #52 for RWR.

“I am thrilled to have Joey Hand back with the RWR family for 2022,” commented team owner Rick Ware. “Joey did a great job for us this past year at the Roval, and I can’t wait to see what he will do this year with the Next Gen cars and our Ford partnership.”

Much of Hand’s racing background is in sports cars, and is highlighted by successes such as winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans‘ GTE Pro class in 2016 and the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona GTLM in 2017. Since 2015, he has been a factory driver for Ford Performance, who has a technical alliance with RWR beginning with the 2022 season. Hand won at COTA in 2015, Road America in 2017, and Watkins Glen the following year.

Prior to Ford, the California native was a member of BMW’s programme which included racing in DTM and pre-WeatherTech series Grand-Am and American Le Mans Series.

After his Roval start, he assisted RWR in testing the Next Gen car at the track. The seventh-generation car is intended to be more friendly on road courses, with some regarding it as comparable to touring cars.

“With the introduction of the Next Gen car, I feel it levels the playing field and we have a legitimate chance of running up front,” Hand said. “With support from Ford Performance and Stewart-Haas Racing, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be competitive at road courses. I feel I am already comfortable with the Next Gen car because of many similarities to the GT cars I have driven in the past.”

Ford Performance head Mark Rushbrook regarded Hand as “a key resource for our NASCAR drivers the past couple of years as far as helping them with their road course skills, so seeing him get this opportunity with RWR is only going to make our program better. We all have great faith in Joey’s ability and even though he has only one NASCAR start to his credit, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him in Victory Lane this year.”

Cody Ware, who also boasts sports car expertises, will drive the #51 full-time for RWR. The #15 is the team’s multi-driver car with David Ragan and Ryan Preece having been confirmed as among those names.

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Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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