Rick Ware Racing has a NASCAR Cup Series charter for 2018. Now what?
Don’t get me wrong, having a charter is definitely better than not having one. It means you get to be at the dance every week, not waiting and hoping you’re good enough to go. Being IN the race is one thing, being competitive is wholly different.
RWR likes to call itself “The Biggest Little Team in Motorsports.” There’s a certain attitude and us-against-them mentality that you need. Just ask Furniture Row Racing. RWR has the attitude, but what they lack is the team to go with it. They raced in 2017 with six different drivers, the most successful being Timmy Hill who finished 28th at Kansas. That’s not exactly tearing it up.
A charter gives a team guaranteed weekly exposure. That’s key for sponsors. Knowing their logo or icon will be seen means the dollars spent are worth it to a point. What the team needs to get them over the hump is a star driver. Having a charter gives them some drawing power, but it’s unclear who’s left to get at this late date that could help them. The 2018 season starts in 9 weeks.
Two names that jump out are Matt Kenseth and Danica Patrick, both of who have said they’re fine with walking away from the sport. They’ve also said that maybe for the right opportunity, they would get back in a seat. Those veterans aren’t going to pick just any team, though. They want to be competitive, not just merely show up. That gets you some short-term splash, but not necessarily a long-term strategy.
Most veteran drivers want assurances they’re going to have the resources to back them up. Being a champion NASCAR driver, or even just a competitive driver, isn’t done in a vacuum. Pieces need to be built around the driver. Much the way NFL teams will build their offensive line and wide receivers before bringing in that stud quarterback, RWR needs to show they’ve got the infrastructure in place. Doing that shows a driver they’re serious about making a run. Until then, you’re just happy to be there.