NASCAR: The only full-time team still without a driver

Reed Sorenson, NY Racing Team, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Reed Sorenson, NY Racing Team, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Rick Ware Racing’s driver confirmations for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season have left NY Racing Team as the only expected full-time team without a driver.

Entering mid-January, Rick Ware Racing, which are set to run four chartered entries in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season following their acquisition of Premium Motorsports, had not made any announcements about their driver lineup. They were the only chartered team for which that was the case.

That has since changed with multiple confirmations. The team first confirmed that Joey Gase is set to return to the team in a part-time capacity, and they confirmed that both Cody Ware and Josh Bilicki are set to compete full-time throughout the 36-race season.

James Davison and Garrett Smithley are also set to return to the team in part-time roles like they had last year, and the team have also confirmed that Derrike Cope is set to compete for them in the Daytona 500.

These announcements leave just one full-time team without a confirmed driver for the 2021 season.

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NY Racing Team, which have competed in just 17 Cup Series races and have not compete in the series since May of 2018 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, announced last month that they plan to run the entire season.

They are set to run the #44 Chevrolet, which is a non-chartered entry that the sport hasn’t seen since the 2015 Daytona 500. But they have not confirmed a driver or drivers for this car for any of the 36 races on the 2021 schedule — not even next Sunday’s Daytona 500, for which they will need to qualify since the #44 Chevrolet won’t have a charter.

The only other non-chartered car set to run the full schedule is the #37 Chevrolet for JTG Daugherty Racing. Ryan Preece drove this car when it was a chartered entry last year, and he is set to do so again this year even after the team transferred the #37 car’s charter to Spire Motorsports.

All other teams with confirmed plans to compete in the 2021 season have confirmed at least one driver for at least one race.

So who will be behind the wheel of the #44 Chevrolet to attempt to get NY Racing Team into their first Daytona 500 since 2015?

Single-car qualifying for the race is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 10, and the Bluegreen Vacations Duels are scheduled to take place on Thursday, February 11 to solidify the 40-car starting lineup. Fox Sports 1 is set to broadcast both sessions live from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET on their respective dates.

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There are currently 44 cars on the entry list for this race, and with 36 chartered entries, there are slated to be eight cars battling for the final four starting spots, or nine if NY Racing Team officially enter. The race itself is set to be broadcast live on Fox beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 14.