NASCAR: One driver no longer competing for Cup points

Cody Ware, Petty Ware Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Cody Ware, Petty Ware Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Another driver who started the 2021 NASCAR season competing for Cup Series points is now competing for Xfinity Series points.

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season began with 34 drivers set to compete full-time, including 33 in chartered entries guaranteed to compete in every race on the 36-race schedule, with JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ryan Preece and his #37 Chevrolet being the lone exception.

One of those drivers, Live Fast Motorsports’ B.J. McLeod, entered the season not competing for Cup Series points but competing for Xfinity Series points instead, leaving 33 full-time points-eligible drivers. McLeod ended up not competing in the second race at the Daytona International Speedway road course.

Now another driver who was initially slated to compete for Cup Series points is running for Xfinity Series points.

Cody Ware, the full-time driver of the #51 Chevrolet for Petty Ware Racing, is that driver.

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Note that the #51 car is a Rick Ware Racing car run using a charter from Richard Petty Motorsports. There is no further association between the two teams.

Ware, who is still set to compete full-time in the Cup Series, finished the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in 21st place, and he went on to finish in 25th at the track’s road course. Those two finishes would have net him 28 points, good for 24th in the point standings.

In the Xfinity Series, Ware has competed in the season’s first two races for SS-Green Light Racing. He was not eligible to score points in the season opener, and he finished in 39th place after an early crash. He finished in 25th in the second race, for which he was eligible to score points, and scored 12 points. He sits in a 35th place tie in the point standings.

As a result, there are now just 32 full-time Cup Series drivers, including Preece and 31 drivers of chartered entries, who are competing for points.

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While nothing has been confirmed, Ware is also slated to compete in select IndyCar races throughout the year thanks to Rick Ware Racing’s new full-time partnership with Dale Coyne Racing. The versatile 25-year-old Greensboro, North Carolina native would be eligible to score points in IndyCar simply by competing in the series.