Justin Haley announced during the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season that he would be leaving Kaulig Racing and joining Rick Ware Racing for 2024. But up until now, Rick Ware Racing had not confirmed which car he would be driving during his first season with the team.
Cody Ware, who had driven full-time for his father's team since the start of the 2022 season up until his arrest and suspension last April, had driven the No. 51 Ford. While Ware has since been reinstated, he has not confirmed any NASCAR plans for the upcoming 36-race campaign.
It has now been confirmed that Haley, the team's first full-time driver other than Ware, is set to drive the No. 51 Ford in 2024, meaning that the No. 15 Ford is the Rick Ware Racing without any confirmed drivers.
No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford needs drivers for 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season
Whether or not the No. 15 Ford is driven by a single driver or multiple full-time drivers remains to be seen, but given the team's history, it is widely believed that the car will be shared throughout the season. However, J.J. Yeley, one of the team's primary drivers over the last few seasons, has ruled out a return.
Cody Ware remains a good possibility in what is a crucial season for the team. While NASCAR opted not to repossess one of their two charters this year, citing their signing of Haley, their technical alliance with RFK Racing, and their use of Roush-Yates Engines as reasons to believe they are committed to improvement, that may not be true again after the 2024 season.
NASCAR reserves the right to repossess a team's charter if that team finishes outside of the top 33 for three straight seasons.
The No. 15 team, which uses the charter that had been used for the No. 51 team, has already finished outside of the top 33 in the owner standings (among the 36 chartered entries) in each of the last three seasons. The No. 51 team, which uses the charter that had been used by the No. 15 team, has recorded back-to-back finishes in the bottom three.
In 2022 and 2023, the only team that either Rick Ware Racing entry beat was the No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports entry, and Live Fast Motorsports have since sold their charter to Spire Motorsports, meaning that it will theoretically be tougher for Rick Ware Racing to make improvements significant enough to move up the order in 2024.
UPDATE: Kaz Grala is set to drive the No. 15 Ford in 25 races, meaning that the car is set to be a shared entry throughout the season. No other drivers have been announced.
Of the 34 non-Rick Ware Racing entries, 33 are set to be driven by full-time drivers. The No. 16 Chevrolet is the only one set to be shared, and thus far, the only confirmation Kaulig Racing have made about that car is the fact that A.J. Allmendinger is set to drive it in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.