Rick Ware Racing’s lineup looks a little bit different than usual for this Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International.
NASCAR is back this weekend at Watkins Glen International after two consecutive off weekends, the first such scheduled stretch since 1991, due to NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
One team’s driver lineup for the Go Bowling at The Glen Cup Series race, however, looks a bit different than usual, with that being Rick Ware Racing.
Josh Bilicki is set to be behind the wheel of the #52 Chevrolet, as usual, and Garrett Smithley, a regular part-time driver for the team, is set to be behind the wheel of the #53 Chevrolet.
James Davison, another regular part-time driver for the team, is also set to compete once again. But he won’t be competing behind the wheel of the #15 Chevrolet, the car in which he has made all 15 of his starts so far this season.
Davison is set to pilot Cody Ware’s #51 Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet in this event, while IndyCar driver RC Enerson is set to make his series debut in the #15 Chevrolet. This was, in fact, indicated on the initial entry list; it’s not a late change. But it is different than a normal Cup Series race, considering Ware is the #51 Chevrolet’s full-time driver.
So why the shakeup?
This change took place this weekend because of the fact that Ware is set to compete for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing behind the wheel of the #52 Honda in the inaugural IndyCar race on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee.
In addition to his role as a driver for his father’s Cup Series team, he is also a part-time driver for the IndyCar team in which his father is a partner.
This marks the third time this season for which Ware was not listed as the driver of the #51 Chevrolet, and on both of the previous occasions, it was also due to his IndyCar commitment.
Ware had planned to compete in the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway back in May, but he was unable to secure the funding to do so. However, plans were already made for somebody else to drive his #51 Chevrolet in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway due to his expected absence.
Because he wasn’t tied down with the Indy 500, he still competed in the Coca-Cola 600, but he did so behind the wheel of the #53 Chevrolet, as it had already been determined that Smithley would take his place behind the wheel of the #51 Chevrolet.
Then in June, Ware got to make his IndyCar debut in the race at Road America and finished in 19th place. In the meantime, J.J. Yeley competed behind the wheel of the #51 Chevrolet in the inaugural Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway.
So this weekend, Ware is slated to get the opportunity to compete in the Music City after all, but in an open-wheel car as opposed to a stock car.
The Go Bowling at The Glen is set to be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network from Watkins Glen International beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 8, and it is set to be followed by the inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee at 5:30 p.m. ET.