By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season is here and on Sunday, Cody Ware and Rick Ware Racing really showed they’re here and they mean business. Ware just barely missed the main event by one position in the first Last Chance Qualifier before Sunday’s Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum.
It all started on Saturday in the first practice session of the 2022 season where Ware really showed he had good speed. He finished the first and only practice session in 13th of 36 drivers and had a solid outlook headed into qualifying. Though his qualifying effort wasn’t that great, putting a 35th-place effort on the board, he used the heats and LCQ to better his chances at making the Clash.
Ware would finish 8th in the third heat, only improving one position from his starting spot but it would be the first Last Chance Qualifier that the No. 51 would plead his case to make the Busch Light Clash. During the race, had some chaotic racing involving Aric Almirola, Chris Buescher, Ross Chastain, and others. Towards the end of the LCQ, Ware battled with AJ Allmendinger for the final transfer spot but just one overshoot seemingly cost Ware the spot.
“For sure, they knew we were here,” heard on the No. 51 radio. “Sorry guys, just didn’t have it there at the end,” said Ware. “You did a heck of a job,” added team owner Rick Ware. “Those guys didn’t like getting passed by the 51 car.”
— Cody Ware (@CodyShaneWare) February 6, 2022
Without a doubt, one of the biggest winners during the Busch Light Clash weekend was Rick Ware Racing. Ware barely missed the Busch Light Clash while his teammate Ryan Preece qualified for the race. Showing some promise, Preece was sidelined early with brake issues. An organization that gets overlooked a ton showed up to a race they weren’t expected to even be in the picture with and excelled.
— Rick Ware Racing (@RickWareRacing) February 7, 2022
It’s just an exhibition race, but Rick Ware Racing has some momentum riding on their side heading into the Daytona 500. Cody Ware will kick off his first full-time effort alongside NASCAR veteran David Ragan in the season opener. Ragan gave the organization their career-best finish of fourth in the 2020 Daytona 500. Rick Ware Racing has finished inside the top-20 at Daytona eight times and with the speed the organization had at The Clash, it could very well improve to nine or 10 times if both cars can finish inside the top-20.
Before the Main Event starts at The @lacoliseum, Team Owner Rick Ware wanted to say THANK YOU to every single RWR employee who has worked tirelessly to build & hang the bodies on our two @NASCAR cars the past 2 weeks.
Without the hard work of our team, this wouldn’t be possible. pic.twitter.com/KS4GrpaQ74
— Rick Ware Racing (@RickWareRacing) February 6, 2022