CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cody Shane Ware will make his IndyCar debut at Road America this weekend driving a car for Dale Coyne Racing that has an association with Ware’s father.
Ware will drive the No. 52 Honda alongside full-time Coyne drivers Romain Grosjean and Ed Jones. The 25-year-old competes full time in NASCAR and had been expected to make his IndyCar debut at the Indianapolis 500, but his father chose not to field the car because of gaps in funding.
Ware drives full time in the Cup Series for Rick Ware Racing and called this migration toward IndyCar “a surreal experience for me.”
“I never would have thought that I would ever go down the open wheel route for a multitude of reasons,” he said. ”I am getting an opportunity to compete at the highest level of open wheel motorsport in the U.S.”
Ware first tested an Indy car at Sebring International Raceway before testing the ovals at both Texas Motor Speedway and Indianapolis. He turned his first laps at Road America two weeks ago as part of a rookie test day.
“Road America is an ideal place to make my debut and I am so excited to learn and soak it all in,” Ware said.
The permanent road course in Wisconsin is 4.048 miles with 14 turns, and drivers can hit speeds of nearly 200 mph on the long frontstretch.
Ware is winless in NASCAR in 39 Cup starts, 27 Xfinity races and seven Truck Series appearances. The four-entry Rick Ware Racing team is not competitive and Ware’s average finish is 31st.
But he finished fourth in the LMP2 Class at the 24 Hours of Daytona earlier this year, and he won the LMP2 Asian Le Mans Championship for the 2019-20 season.
Rick Ware also expects to field the No. 52 with Coyne for his son at the street course race at Nashville and the road course at Indianapolis, which is a doubleheader weekend with NASCAR. Rick Ware said he’s able to field the car because a sponsorship program with BioHaven and Nurtec ODT has grown into full funding for Grosjean’s entry, with enough room to try a third car.
The team will also need the No. 52 for Grosjean to race his first oval at Gateway outside of St. Louis in August because Grosjean’s seat had already been given to Pietro Fittipaldi for the ovals.