Cody Ware admits he still has so much to learn in NASCAR, given that he’s only made 60 starts at the Cup Series. And this year, with the resources and moves Rick Ware Racing put together in hopes of growing their organization, it could be what Ware needs to take a giant step forward.
A technical alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing and an engine package from Roush Yates Engines is paying early dividends. Ware told The Racing Writer’s Podcast he’s already noticed how much better Ford Mustang is doing things like getting up to speed leaving pit road and firing off on restarts.
“You really feel that extra horsepower we’ve been lacking those past few years,” said Ware. “It’s been a big help for me as a driver.”
Slated to run a full year in 2021, Ware missed a few events when he got the opportunity to compete in the NTT IndyCar Series. But this year, Ware focused solely on running the full NASCAR schedule in the No. 51, given how the company has positioned itself for growth and the opportunity Next Gen presents.
“I’ve learned more in a stock car in the past couple months than I have probably in the past three or four years I’ve been in NASCAR because getting the chance to talk to the engineers over at Stewart-Haas, to have seat time on the Ford Performance sim and just get laps that I would have never had before,” Ware said. “Working with guys like [Mike Bugarewicz], Mike [Shiplett], David Hyder over at Stewart-Haas, there’s a lot of geniuses over there, and they’re obviously doing a lot better than they did last year. You can see the effort they put in to making sure they had a strong showing with this Next Gen car … and I think we made a really good choice working with them.
“I think the new car gave us a good baseline and gave us a good opportunity to at least get the ball rolling with parity. Then you top that in with Stewart-Haas, the Ford engines, and I think we’ve got a really good recipe for better showings. We’ve shown that.
“It’s good for me. I’m really happy to see it because we’ve been talking about it for a long time, and a lot of people were like, ‘Oh, are you guys really going to step up your program? You’ve been saying it.’ We’ve been saying the Next Gen car is going to be our chance to step up, and obviously, when the Next Gen car got delayed, so did our plans for taking our program to the next level. But I’m glad that we were able to put our money where our mouth is and start making these improvements. I know it’s very early in the season, but everything we’ve been doing is very promising.”
Ware had noticeable speed at the L.A. Coliseum’s Clash, although he came up short in advancing into the main race. Through the first five points races of the season, he has three finishes of 26th or better.
Listen to the full interview with Ware below or click here: