NASCAR: Former full-time driver scaling back to part-time

Cody Ware competed full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series prior to his arrest and suspension. He plans to return in 2024, but only part-time.
Cody Ware, Zane Smith, Daytona 500, NASCAR
Cody Ware, Zane Smith, Daytona 500, NASCAR / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

From the start of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season up until his arrest and suspension last April, Cody Ware had been competing full-time for his father's Rick Ware Racing team.

Cody had competed in some capacity for Rick Ware Racing every season since 2017, but he had never competed full-time until 2022. While he missed the remainder of the 2023 season following his suspension, he ended up being reinstated by NASCAR earlier this offseason.

His status for the 2024 season remained unknown following his reinstatement, and there were questions about whether or not he would resume his role as a full-time driver for his father's team -- or even if he would be back for an eighth consecutive season with the organization at all.

Cody Ware back to Rick Ware Racing for 2024?

The team had already signed Justin Haley from Kaulig Racing to compete full-time in 2024, and they have traditionally run at least one shared entry. Haley is set to drive the No. 51 Ford that Ware had driven, leaving the No. 15 Ford.

It was then confirmed that Kaz Grala had signed a 25-race deal, including 24 of the 36 points races, with the team to drive the No. 15 Ford, thus confirming that Ware would not be competing full-time during the 2024 season.

However, Ware is still expected to compete during the 2024 season in "some races", according to Fox Sports' Bob Pockrass, starting in April.

Grala's schedule, beyond the preseason Busch Light Clash exhibition race and the season's second points race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, has not been confirmed, so the April races in which the No. 15 Ford still needs a driver are unknown.

It is highly unlikely that Ware's schedule will consist of all 12 points races Grala is not set to run. In fact, it is all but confirmed that the team will need at least another driver for the No. 15 Ford, since the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway is not on Grala's schedule and presumably won't be on Ware's.

In his first career Cup Series start, Riley Herbst drove the No. 15 Ford in last year's Daytona 500 and finished in 10th place, four places higher than Ware.

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The 66th running of the "Great American Race" is scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 18, and it is set to be broadcast live on Fox from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss it!