The first full season of collaboration between Dale Coyne Racing and Rick Ware Racing has left the latter with strong feelings about his future in the NTT IndyCar Series.
As co-entrants of the No. 51 Honda driven by Romain Grosjean and Pietro Fittipaldi and part-time entrants of the No. 52 DCRwRWR Honda, Ware has enjoyed a strong debut with DCR and says he’s working on a multi-year extension to remain with the Illinois-based team.
“We’re negotiating to become even more involved,” he told RACER. “We’re very entrenched in working with Dale, and have had a great relationship with him. We’re working hard right now to put together a multiple year scenario in the IndyCar Series to have a presence to grow our team even more.”
Known primarily as a NASCAR entrant, Ware sees an increased role for RWR in IndyCar as a smart business decision that benefits his sponsors.
“The one thing that I’m trying to do, similar to a Roger Penske – and please understand that I’m not comparing myself to him – is to develop the marketing machine where I can go talk to a sponsor and be able to say, ‘You could have a footprint in the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500, at Long Beach and Nashville, and all across these two big series we’re in. You get the television time, the hospitality suites…’” he said. “And make it an absolute success from the marketing side. I’m excited to be in IndyCar; it’s just very cool.”
Ware and Coyne have enjoyed a highly competitive season with ex-Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean at the controls of the No. 51 Honda on the road and street courses. Pietro Fittipaldi has handled the ovals in the car so far – although Grosjean is set to make his oval debut on August 21 at World Wide Technologies Raceway – and Ware’s son Cody has made a few starts in the No. 52 entry.
Holding onto Grosjean for 2022 is a goal for DCRwRWR, but Ware also knows there are bigger teams pursuing the polesitter from May’s Indianapolis Grand Prix.
“Our sponsors are happy, Romain is a fantastic driver, and it goes without saying we’re hoping to keep him,” he said. “He says he’s not going, but you know, we’ve built all of our sponsorships around not having it tied to a single driver, because if you do that in this world, you risk losing things.”
Ware’s son will also feature in DCRwRWR’s future plans.
“Next year, I’m going to say Cody probably won’t be missing any NASCAR races,” he said. “I think our goal is for Cody will probably run Indy again in the 52 and maybe only do two IndyCar races. We’re talking to some other drivers and have some cool stuff coming, so right now I believe we will have a second car run at least five times next year, and we’re really close to being able to say we’ll be here, for sure, in IndyCar for two, possibly three more years.”