NASCAR team still has no drivers for 2023

Cody Ware, Rick Ware Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Cody Ware, Rick Ware Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

One NASCAR Cup Series team is still without any confirmed drivers for the 2023 season, with the start of the season just over a month away.

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, February 5 with the Busch Light Clash preseason exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The season is officially scheduled to get underway two weeks later with the 65th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

Of the 36 chartered entries, 33 have full-time drivers, and one of the other three, the No. 78 Live Fast Motorsport Ford-turned-Chevrolet, has multiple part-time drivers confirmed for select (but not all 36) races.

But there is one team still without any confirmed drivers for next season, and that team accounts for both of the empty seats.

After ending their technical alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing after just one season, Rick Ware Racing formed a new alliance with RFK Racing, but they have not yet confirmed any drivers for their No. 15 Ford or their No. 51 Ford.

During the 2022 season, which saw Rick Ware Racing downsize from four cars to two, several drivers competed part-time behind the wheel of the No. 15 Ford, while Cody Ware, the son of team owner Rick Ware, competed full-time behind the wheel of the No. 51 Ford.

It has widely been anticipated that Cody Ware will be back full-time for the team in 2023, thus making him the sport’s 34th and final full-time driver, but that hasn’t yet been confirmed.

As for the No. 15 Ford, two of the six drivers who spent time behind the wheel last year (Ryan Preece and Parker Kligerman) have landed full-time rides elsewhere in NASCAR, Preece in the Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing and Kligerman in the Xfinity Series with Big Machine Racing.

J.J. Yeley was the car’s primary driver in 2022, having competed in 17 races. Garrett Smithley and Joey Hand each competed in six while David Ragan competed in four.

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The No. 15 team is at risk of finishing outside of the top 33 in the owner standings for the third straight season in 2023, which would give NASCAR the ability to repossess its charter.