NASCAR: Final open seat lands a driver for 2024 season

Rick Ware Racing's No. 15 Ford finally has a driver for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, though not for the entire season.

J.J. Yeley, Rick Ware Racing, NASCAR
J.J. Yeley, Rick Ware Racing, NASCAR / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Ware Racing recently announced that Justin Haley, who left Kaulig Racing at the end of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, is set to drive the No. 51 Ford, not the No. 15 Ford, during the 2024 season, leaving their No. 15 Ford without any drivers for the upcoming 36-race campaign.

There are 34 drivers set to compete full-time in 2024, and Kaulig Racing had already announced that A.J. Allmendinger is set to drive the No. 16 Chevrolet in at least the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. That left only Rick Ware Racing's No. 15 Ford without any confirmed drivers, among the 36 charter entries.

But Rick Ware Racing changed that by announcing that Kaz Grala is set to drive the No. 15 Ford in 25 races on the 2024 schedule.

Final NASCAR Cup Series charter car lands driver for 2024

Though the Daytona 500 is not one of the 25 races on Grala's schedule, this is his biggest Cup Series deal yet. After making a substitute appearance at Richard Childress Racing in 2020, he competed in three races for Kaulig Racing in 2021 and three races for The Money Racing Team in 2022. He did not make any Cup Series starts in 2023.

Grala competed full-time in the Xfinity Series last year for Sam Hunt Racing, recording two top five finishes and an additional seven top 10 finishes en route to a 17th place finish in the point standings.

Notably, Grala's 2024 Cup Series schedule includes the preseason Busch Light Clash exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, meaning that he is only slated to compete in 24 of the 36 points races.

As for the remaining races on the schedule for the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford, Cody Ware remains a possibility. He had competed full-time for his father's team since the start of the 2022 season when he was arrested and suspended last April, but he has since been reinstated by NASCAR.

J.J. Yeley, one of the team's primary drivers over the last few years, has already ruled out a return.

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The Daytona 500 is scheduled to get the 2024 season underway on Sunday, February 18. Who will Rick Ware Racing tab as the driver of the No. 15 Ford this race? Fox is set to provide live coverage from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss it!