THOMASVILLE, N.C. – Rick Ware Racing has expanded its NASCAR program to include a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team that will debut at the 59th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Timmy Hill will be aboard the No. 51 Chevrolet, which will not have a charter, for Speedweeks. The team will utilize a rotating list of drivers throughout the year, including Hill, Stanton Barrett, Cody Ware and Kevin O’Connell, among others.
“We’ve been eyeing our return to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since the end of last year,” said RWR team principal Rick Ware. “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.”
The team has acquired assets from Tommy Baldwin Racing for use this season, including cars, a pulldown rig and technology support.
Additionally, Longtime industry veteran Joe Lax, also previously with TBR, will serve as crew chief, while pro-motor engineering (PME) will supply the horsepower during the season.
Mike Hillman Sr., a longtime fixture in NASCAR, has joined RWR in the newly created role 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.”
Hill, 23, will be attempting to qualify for his first Daytona 500. Despite no Cup starts at Daytona, the Port Tobacco, Md., native has four XFINITY starts at the 2.5-mile oval with two career top-10 finishes, including back-to-back top-10 runs for Rick Ware Racing in 2012 with a career-best seventh in the season-opening race.
“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.”
In addition to their effort in the Cup Series, Rick Ware Racing will also compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season with recently announced driver Spencer Boyd at the wheel.