Set to compete in Sunday’s Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway with veteran Justin Marks, Rick Ware Racing (RWR) is full-speed ahead working to solidify its driver lineup for other races this season.
For the Feb. 25 running of the QuikTrip Folds of Honor 500 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, XFINITY Series veteran Harrison Rhodes will drive the team’s-No. 51 Chevrolet Camaro ZR1 chartered car in the second Cup Series race of the season.
A native of High Point, N.C., Rhodes has spent the last five years competing in the XFINITY Series for a variety of different organizations. Last year, the 24-year-old competed in 31 races driving for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller earning a season-high 10th place finish in the season-opening race at Daytona.
Rhodes made his XFINITY Series debut at ISM (Ariz.) Raceway in 2013 for RWR bringing his motorsports career full-circle now competing at NASCAR’s pinnacle level for Ware.
“I can’t believe I have this opportunity to drive for Rick Ware Racing at Atlanta,” said Rhodes. “I began my NASCAR career with Rick and now six years later I’ll have the chance to race on Sunday. It’s a blessing and a dream come true.”
While a primary sponsor will be announced soon, supporting Rhodes’ effort for Atlanta is an associate role will be Sanford, N.C.-based Industrial Construction Experts Inc.
Team principal Rick Ware explains that Rhodes is the first of several rookies that will be driving for the Thomasville, N.C.-based team this season.
“I’m all about giving chances,” explained Ware who is entering his 26th year of competition. “There’s no doubt that Rick Ware Racing has built itself on giving opportunities to young, vibrant drivers. Harrison is no exception.
“Even though he doesn’t have any experience in Cup, he has turned countless laps in an XFINITY Series car which will make his transition to our No. 51 Chevrolet that much smoother.
“He’s going to be the first of several rookie drivers to compete for our team this season. NASCAR is blossoming in the way of a youth movement and we can do our part to contribute by placing young enthusiastic and talented drivers behind the wheel of our race cars. It’s a gamble, but its one that we feel we’ll exceed our expectations as the season presses on.”
In December, RWR announced that they had secured a charter from Richard Petty Motorsports securing the team a berth not only into the Daytona 500, but the remaining 35 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series events in 2018 as well.
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