MOORESVILLE, N.C. – A full field of 33 cars for the 104th Indianapolis 500 crept closer with the announcement that Rick Ware Racing will partner with Dale Coyne Racing to field a car for James Davison at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Davison will drive the No. 51 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing, which will be run in conjunction with Rick Ware Racing. This will be Rick Ware Racing’s first involvement in the NTT IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.
“It is not too often I get to experience a first in motorsports,” Ware said. “However, this year we not only won an International Championship, RWR will be entered into the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. This is definitely a bucket list item that I’ve had for a long time. I am excited to be partnered together with Dale Coyne Racing, Byrd Racing and Belardi to showcase our efforts.”
The team has more partners than a New York law firm. Also involved in this entry is Byrd and Belardi Auto Racing to run the No. 51 Jacob Construction entry for the Australian driver, with additional support from Americas Best Value Inn, Tilson HR and Cruz Associates.
“I am overjoyed to be returning to the Indy 500 with Dale Coyne Racing, Rick Ware Racing, Byrd and Belardi,” Davison said. “Last year we had a great run qualifying and finishing in the top half of the field, and we intend to replicate and improve on that.
“The Byrd family, Brian Belardi, and Dale Coyne have been loyal believers in me and have demonstrated that in a way for which I will forever be grateful, and I am excited to be able to now enjoy the support of Rick Ware Racing as well. While a lot will be different this year due to the unusual circumstances, it is still an exciting time to be involved in Indy car racing under the stewardship of the Penske Corporation and to have the opportunity to get on track next week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
Jacob Construction will also sponsor Davison and Rick Ware Racing in the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series events on Daytona Int’l Speedway’s road course on Aug. 16 and the Coke Zero 400 on the oval at Daytona International Speedway on Aug. 29.
“I’ve never been to the Indianapolis 500, I’ve always been somewhere racing on Memorial Day,” Ware said. “I’m ecstatic to be there; to be able to participate has been a huge deal. Being a smaller team, we’ve had a lot of interest and excitement in this as we’re making baby steps toward being in the top 30 (in NASCAR).”
It will be part of an action-packed schedule for Davison. He will attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 15, the day before the road course event at Daytona. Ware said he plans to attend some practices and qualifying, but the team owner will be attending NASCAR’s race weekend doubleheader at Dover Int’l Speedway during the Indianapolis 500 weekend.
Davison is planning on running both Cup races at Michigan Int’l Speedway this weekend. Next week, it’s three days of practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indianapolis 500. He will qualify on Saturday, Aug. 15 before departing for Daytona for the NASCAR Cup Series race.
After Carb Day at Indy and the 104th Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23, Davison will depart for Daytona to prepare for the Coke Zero 400 on the high-banks of Daytona Int’ Speedway.
Davison will be attempting to make the field for his sixth Indianapolis 500. He finished 12th in last year’s race, his best finish at Indianapolis to date.
“James had great runs the last couple times he’s raced at the Indy 500 for us,” team owner Dale Coyne said. “He picked up his best finish last season and we look forward to seeing him build on that result this year. It’s also great to be continuing our partnership with BYRD and Belardi and we’re happy to be welcoming Rick Ware to the NTT IndyCar Series for his first Indy 500.”
Rick Ware Racing currently fields four teams in the NASCAR Cup Series; No. 15, 27, 51 and 53. Located in Mooresville, N.C., RWR has competed within NASCAR’s top touring series since 2000. Over the past 20 years, RWR has competed in the Super Trofeo Series, IMSA, Asian Le Mans Series, ARCA and several other smaller series.
Earlier this year, Davison made his Cup Series debut at Pocono Raceway, finishing 34th and 30th for Spire Motorsports in the Pocono doubleheader. Davison made his first Cup start for Rick Ware Racing last Sunday at New Hampshire and finished 30th.
Davison will be making his fourth appearance in a Dale Coyne Racing car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The 2020 Indianapolis 500 will be Byrd Racing’s third time partnering with Dale Coyne (2016, 2019) and the second for Belardi Auto Racing (2019).
“Our previous two Indy 500 partnerships with Dale have been nothing short of fantastic, and we are just over the moon to be working together again, while also extending our relationship with Brian Belardi and starting a new one with Rick Ware Racing,” David Byrd said. “We are definitely looking forward to picking up right where we left off last May.”
Belardi Auto Racing has achieved success in both the amateur and pro ranks for a decade, winning numerous junior formula car races and championships. Based in Brownsburg, Indiana, Belardi Auto Racing won the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship and has scored multiple race wins in both Indy Lights and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, including the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis.
“I’m really excited to be back with Dale Coyne Racing, BYRD Racing, and James Davison for a second year at the Indianapolis 500, along with our new partners at Rick Ware Racing,” owner Brian Belardi said. “Last year was an amazing finish and a great platform to build on with our 12th place result. I can’t wait to see what the team is capable of accomplishing this year building off the momentum from 2019.”
The latest announcement puts the car/driver count at 32 for the Indianapolis 500, with a few more entries expected to come later this week.