It was announced on January 20 that Rick Ware Racing intends to compete in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series full-time. They will be considered an open non-chartered team and their 2017 journey will begin with the 59th annual Daytona 500 next month at Daytona International Speedway.
This will be RWR’s return in the top level of NASCAR and Timmy Hill will be their driver piloting the No. 51 Chevrolet for Speedweeks. After that, drivers will rotate throughout the remainder of the season including Stanton Barrett, Cody Ware as well as road course veteran Kevin O’Connell just to name a few.
“We’ve been eyeing our return to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since the end of last year,” RWR team Principal Rick Ware stated. “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.”
It was also announced that RWR would be receiving some equipment from Tommy Baldwin Racing to use throughout the 2017 season including cars, a pulldown rig as well as technical support. Also, veteran crew chief Joe Lax, who worked at TBR, will serve as crew chief for RWR. Mike Hillman Sr. will join RWR as team consultant.
“I feel like we’ve done a great job getting our stars aligned for this year,” Ware added. “Between acquiring cars from Tommy Baldwin Racing and having a good open relationship with them, plus being able to bring key personnel aboard who have the desire and drive to make our team the best it’s ever been.
“One component I’m really proud about is our initiative to bring our body work in-house. We really have hired some talented and experienced personnel overall and I couldn’t be more excited to get our season underway.”
The 23-year old Hill is hoping to make his 49th Cup race start and his first ever Daytona 500 start next month. Even though he has no Cup starts at Daytona he does have four XFINITY starts there including back-to- back top-10 runs for RWR in 2012 with a career-best finish of seventh at Daytona as well.
“I’m thankful to continue my relationship with Rick Ware Racing for the 2017 season,” said Hill. “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!”