Monday, June 24, 2024

Justin Haley joining Rick Ware Racing for 2024 onwards

Justin Haley has been one of the most crucial pieces to Kaulig Racing‘s growth into what they are today, joining them in 2019 and helping to develop the NASCAR Xfinity Series programme before becoming their first Cup Series driver. However, he will depart the team in 2024 as he signs a multi-year contract with Rick Ware Racing.

“This is a unique opportunity that I look forward to,” said Haley. “There are many key pieces of this programme I believe can help me in taking the next steps in my NASCAR career. I look forward to working with our key partners, and many additional RWR partners to be announced soon. The alliance with RFK Racing is going to be pivotal for the future of our on-track success.”

Haley spent three years in the Xfinity Series with Kaulig, winning four times and making the 2020 Championship Round. He formally graduated to the Cup Series in 2022, three years after scoring a surprise, weather-shortened win for Spire Motorsports at Daytona, and finished twenty-second in points as a rookie. Nineteen races into 2023, he sits twenty-first in the standings and finished second at Chicago after a dramatic battle with Supercars star Shane van Gisbergen.

In becoming a Ford driver, Haley will race another manufacturer besides Chevrolet in NASCAR’s top three divisions for the second time. Even the first instance was a mere one-off in the Truck Series when Braun Motorsports, headed by his uncle Todd Braun, fielded a Toyota at the 2016 Martinsville spring race before switching back to Chevrolet.

“This is a great day for our team on many levels,” Rick Ware commented. “Having someone with Justin’s talent and background become part of our future is a testament to our commitment to growth over the past few years. I have known Justin for a long time, respect all he has achieved in many forms of motorsports and look forward to great success together. His versatility as a driver in multiple series, the continuity we can build around Justin and the respect amongst his peers will pay great dividends for our team. He will be a great teammate for the RWR/RFK Racing alliance.”

RWR fields a revolving door of drivers in their #15 and #51 Ford Mustangs, though the latter was due to circumstance after Cody Ware‘s suspension. The #15 is currently thirty-second in owner points with Jenson Button, Gray Gaulding, Todd Gilliland, Riley Herbst, Andy Lally, Ryan Newman, Brennan Poole, and J.J. Yeley all driving, whereas the #51 is two spots back with post-Cody Ware drivers including Gilliland, Lally, Newman, Yeley, Cole Custer, Matt Crafton, and Zane Smith. The former has two top tens courtesy of Herbst at Daytona and Yeley at Atlanta.

Kaulig did not immediately announce a successor to the #31 car.