NASCAR: Possible Daytona 500 driver ruled out for 2024

Rick Ware Racing have not yet confirmed their second Daytona 500 driver, but Cody Ware's 2024 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is not set to begin until April.
Cody Ware, Rick Ware Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR
Cody Ware, Rick Ware Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

Cody Ware has not competed in a NASCAR Cup Series race since early last April at Richmond Raceway. He ended up being arrested and suspended for the remainder of the 2023 season, but he was reinstated by NASCAR earlier this offseason.

Prior to his arrest and suspension, Ware had been competing full-time for his father's team, Rick Ware Racing, since the start of the 2022 season. He has competed for the team in some capacity in each of the last seven Cup Series seasons going back to 2017.

With Rick Ware Racing having announced last summer that Justin Haley would be joining the team from Kaulig Racing and competing full-time in 2024, it seemed likely that Ware would compete part-time, if at all, given the team's history of running at least one shared entry.

Cody Ware not competing full-time in 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season

After it was confirmed that Haley would be driving the No. 51 Ford that Ware had driven, it was also confirmed that the No. 15 Ford would indeed be a shared entry, with Kaz Grala named the driver for 25 races (including 24 of 36 points races) on this year's schedule.

Ware is indeed expected to compete part-time throughout the 2024 season, according to Fox Sports' Bob Pockrass, but his first start is not expected to happen until April.

Given the fact that the only races confirmed on Grala's schedule are the preseason Busch Light Clash exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the season's second points race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in late February, the races in which the No. 15 Ford still needs a driver for April are not yet known.

But with Grala already ruled out of Rick Ware Racing's lineup for the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway and Ware not set to compete for a few months yet, the No. 15 Ford still needs a driver for the season opener in just over three weeks.

Ware had competed for the team in the last three and four of the last five editions of the "Great American Race" around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona Beach, Florida oval. He finished in a Daytona 500 career-best 14th place last year.

Riley Herbst, who is said to be trying to put together a deal to return to the race this year, drove the No. 15 Ford to a 10th place finish in his series debut.

Grala is set to attempt to qualify for this year's race behind the wheel of the No. 36 Ford for Front Row Motorsports, one of the non-charter cars on the entry list.

Next. NASCAR: Two teams still have seats to fill for the 2024 season. NASCAR: Two teams still have seats to fill for the 2024 season. dark

Fox is set to provide live coverage of the 66th annual Daytona 500 from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 18. Be sure to start a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss it!