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Rick Ware Racing announces Cup plans, Timmy Hill to run Daytona 500
- Updated: January 20, 2017
By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor
While other small organizations are transitioning away from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) in 2017, Rick Ware Racing (RWR) is doubling down.
The organization announced Friday their intention to contend the full 2017 Cup Series schedule as an “open non-chartered” team, fielding a fleet of drivers in their single-car No. 51 Chevrolet entry including Timmy Hill, Stanton Barrett, Cody Ware and road-course ace Kevin O’Connell.
“We’ve been eyeing our return to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since the end of last year,” RWR team principal Rick Ware said in a release. “We knew with the competition level stronger than ever, we needed to take the steps to make sure we could come to the track and be as competitive as possible, while focused on building our organization as the season presses on.”
RWR will compete with assets acquired from Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR), which shuttered full-time Cup Series operations after 2016, though the team will field an entry at Daytona. Former TBR member Joe Lax will maintain crew chief duties for the operation. Motorsports veteran Mike Hillman, Sr., will serve as a team consultant.
The effort will begin with the Feb. 26 Daytona 500, with Hill behind the wheel. Hill, a native of Port Tobacco, Md, earned a career-best seventh-place finish at Daytona in the XFINITY Series in 2012. The 23-year-old has 48 career starts in the MENCS.
“I’m thankful to continue my relationship with Rick Ware Racing for the 2017 season,” Hill said. “I’ve always wanted the chance to compete in the Daytona 500 and thanks to Rick and Lisa (Ware), I’ll have that opportunity. It won’t be easy, but as a team and Joe (Lax) leading the way, we’re focused and will give it all we have and hope we’ll be one of the 40 cars running in the Daytona 500!”
Any sponsorship for the operation will be announced at a later date.
RWR will also field a full-time Camping World Truck Series entry with driver Spencer Boyd.