Matt Crafton will make his first NASCAR Cup Series start since 2015 when he gets behind the wheel of the No. 51 Ford Mustang of Rick Ware Racing on Sunday.
Crafton has competed almost exclusively in the Craftsman Truck Series during his NASCAR career racking up two championships and 15 wins in 526 starts entering this weekend.
The last time Crafton was called into competition at the Cup Series level was the 2019 fall race at Martinsville where he drove the No. 36 car of Front Row Motorsports to a 25th place finish. Previously he had filled in for for an injured Kyle Busch in the 2015 Daytona 500.
Statement from Rick Ware Racing
Cody Ware will step away from racing this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway to focus on a personal matter. Matt Crafton will drive the No. 51 Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing. Crafton has more than 500 overall-starts in his NASCAR career, winning… pic.twitter.com/hUURe7RM6Q
— Rick Ware Racing (@RickWareRacing) April 8, 2023
In a team released statement on Saturday, Rick Ware Racing said that Cody Ware would be out the car at the Bristol dirt race to attend a personal matter. Ware has made seven starts this season for RWR with a average finish of 27.7 highlighted by a 14th place finish in the season opening Daytona 500.