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Justin Haley Assigned No. 51 Rick Ware Racing Car; Team Acquires Chris Lawson

Justin Haley will drive the No. 51 Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing during the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season and Chris Lawson will serve as the crew chief for the effort.


hero image for Justin Haley Assigned No. 51 Rick Ware Racing Car; Team Acquires Chris Lawson

On Tuesday, Rick Ware Racing announced that Justin Haley will drive the organization's No. 51 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2024. Chris Lawson, who previously served as the crew chief for the Front Row Motorsports NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team, will join Haley as the crew chief of the No. 51 team.

Ware announced the acquisition of Haley in a multi-year deal back in July, but the car number and crew chief pairing were unknown until Tuesday's announcement.

With the driver and crew chief of the No. 51 team set in stone, the Rick Ware Racing team will set out to chase the first win in the team's NASCAR Cup Series history.

“Justin is an exceptionally talented racecar driver and all of us at RWR are looking forward to having him in our equipment,” said team owner Rick Ware. “We’re building RWR into a competitive NASCAR team that is on par with the success we enjoyed last year in drag racing and motorcycle racing. Justin wants to win, Chris Lawson wants to win, and that’s the kind of mindset we need to elevate our NASCAR program.”

Haley explains that the team is focused on improving, and improving in a big way in 2024 and beyond, and he is excited to be one of the guys behind the wheel of the RWR machines.

“Rick has shared his goal of changing the narrative of RWR by creating a team that is competitive and capable of running up front,” Haley said. “I fully believe in Rick’s vision and admire his dedication to the sport. He’s been a staple in the garage for years and I want to be the guy to see Rick’s vision through and make it a reality.”

Haley, 24, has one career NASCAR Cup Series win, which came in the Summer event at Daytona International Speedway in 2019.

The native of Winamac, Indiana has competed very well in a full-time capacity with Kaulig Racing over the last two seasons. Haley recorded four of his five career top-five finishes and 10 of his 13 career top-10s over the last two years.

The racer also scored his career-best finish a season ago with a second-place effort in the inaugural Chicago Street Race. Haley will look to build a career year in 2024 with Rick Ware Racing.

Haley says he has expectations set for the 2024 season, and he expects the year to be broken into different segments for himself and the No. 51 team.

“There are a lot of factors that will play into our success in 2024. I really see the full year as being broken down into smaller seasons,” Haley said in a team release.

“The first few races are great to baseline and see where we are as a team," Haley stated. "With a lot of new faces and parts on our cars, it’ll take some time to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses.

“The second stretch of races will be the building phase, where we take what we learned from the first stretch of races and tackle our weaknesses.

“Then in the third stage, we apply those changes and really start to make big strides. That’s where we’ll continue to develop while really starting to make gains and, hopefully, find success.”

Haley and crew chief Lawson will get their first chance to get acclimated with one another in the Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum on February 4th.

Photo Credit: Rick Ware Racing

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