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What If Rick Ware Racing Got SHR’s Fourth Charter

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What’s Happening?

As Silly Season rolls on, no one knows who will acquire the fourth Stewart-Haas Racing charter yet. The improved Rick Ware Racing is one team that could theoretically buy another charter. What would happen, and would it make sense for RWR to buy a fourth charter?

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  • Rick Ware Racing has quietly gotten better and better as the 2024 season progresses. Justin Haley has a pair of top-10s on non-superspeedways, the first time RWR has accomplished that since joining the Cup Series full-time in 2018.
  • Buying a charter would provide a few benefits for both RWR and Ford. However, do the benefits outweigh the costs of a charter?
  • Fans have no idea who will take that fourth SHR charter. With so many potential suitors, everyone has their own thoughts on who could take the charter.

Should They Buy One?

Rick Ware Racing currently sits 31st (No. 51 car) and 35th (No. 15 Car) in owner’s points. A 31st-place finish would be an all-time best for RWR in their history. Yes, that’s a low bar, but it’s an improvement nonetheless.

Their second car is performing at about the same level as another Ford team, The Wood Brothers. One could argue that Ford investing in Rick Ware Racing instead of The Wood Brothers could have the same return on investment.

With SHR shutting down at season’s end, it becomes much more important for Ford to maintain their presence in the sport. Losing SHR means losing four Tier One teams, dropping Ford to only seven Tier One teams, the fewest on the grid. Now, FRM buying a charter gets one of those teams back, and RWR is obviously not a Tier One team.

However, RWR buying a charter means that Ford loses only two teams instead of four. This mitigates Ford’s losses and allows them to invest in a team on the upward swing, even if it’s not a Tier One team.

However, does it help Rick Ware Racing?

Should They Not Buy One?

Rick Ware Racing has held more than two charters before. In 2020, they held three charters before acquiring a fourth charter for 2021; one charter in each season was a partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports. In 2022, the beginning of the Next-Gen era, they downsized from four cars to two.

How did they perform? Each RWR car finished 33rd or worse in Owner’s Points during this time.

Yes, multi-car teams tend to have an advantage over teams with fewer cars. However, more charters don’t automatically equate to more success.

RWR also has a cautionary tale of expanding too quickly with Spire Motorsports. The team expanded from a single-car team to a two-car operation in 2023 and a three-car conglomerate in 2024. Currently, Spire cars sit 21st, 32nd, and 36th in Owner’s Points.

If RWR wants to expand, it can’t do it just for the sake of expanding. It needs the capital to buy a charter and the resources to field a solid third entry. If it buys a third charter, its resources may be spread too thin, and it could end up in the same position Spire Motorsports is currently in.

As of right now, RWR is improving, but they’re still nowhere near race-win contenders yet. Is it really the right time to expand?

What do you think about all this? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is, and don’t forget you can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube.

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