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Why Are Fans So Upset About Cody Ware Returning?

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What’s Happening?

On Sunday, Cody Ware told Ken Willis of the Daytona Beach News Journal that he has “tentative” plans to return to the NASCAR Cup Series in April. Ware was competing in the IMSA VP Sportscar Challenge Series at Daytona that weekend, and the broadcast on Peacock claimed that Ware would run “About 10 races”. The move was met with general groans from the fanbase, but why are the fans so upset about this move?

  • Cody Ware is the son of Rick Ware, the owner and namesake of Rick Ware Racing. Cody has raced for the team in various series including all three NASCAR National Touring Series, IndyCar, and various IMSA Series. He will spend 2024 full-time in the IMSA VP Sportscar Challenge Series.
  • Cody spent most of 2023 suspended from NASCAR after being arrested for felony assault by strangulation and misdemeanor assault on a female. The charges were later dropped, and Ware was reinstated.
  • Fans were collectively unhappy about Cody Ware returning to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2024. He is not an exceptionally popular driver amongst the fanbase as is.

Cody Ware’s Performance

Every issue with Cody Ware goes back to his lackluster on-track performance. Some of these other issues could be overlooked if he performed better. He’s been awful in NASCAR, and there is no other way to put it.

Ware has made 132 starts across all three NASCAR National Touring Series. He has only 2 top-10 finishes and 14 top-20 finishes. That means Cody Ware has finished in the top half of the field around 10.6% of the time. He’s only finished on the lead lap 25 times (18.6%).

When Cody Ware has been in a race, most of the time, he’s been little more than a field filler. Sure, his equipment at Rick Ware Racing has not helped him, but that’s still a terrible record. Rick Ware Racing almost lost a charter due in large part to Cody’s performance.

Talladega Start/Finish Line feels that Grala was not dealt the best hand.

Denny Hamlin on the performance of Cody Ware and RWR as a whole.

SonicSpeed says Ware will finish “39th” every week.

Perceived Nepotism

The reason why Cody Ware can race in NASCAR is because his dad, Rick, owns a race team. Now, that’s not inherently a bad thing. There’s nothing wrong with Rick Ware putting together a race team so his son could race, but Cody’s performance has made it tough to justify.

Look at a counterexample of drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chase Elliott. Both drivers have combined to win NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver award 21 seasons in a row, and both are the sons of two of the greatest NASCAR Drivers of all time. Fans are okay with Elliott and Earnhardt Jr. because both drivers have won races across all levels of motorsports, therefore earning the rides they are in, even if having a famous dad helped in the connections department.

Trenton looks at Cody’s dad as a reason or why Cody Ware has a ride.

Tyler Knutson calls Ware, “Spoon fed”

Andie tried to bring some humor to this narrative.

In the eyes of NASCAR fans, Ware has not earned his way into the Cup Series. He routinely runs in the back, and it makes fans feel like he is taking a seat away from a driver who truly deserves it.

An Overall Bad Reputation

Even before his arrest, Cody Ware was not exceptionally well-liked by the NASCAR fanbase. This started in 2017 when he and Matt DiBenedetto got into it on Twitter after a run-in during the Southern 500 at Darlington. In that discussion, Ware accused DiBenedetto of cheating on his wife. Keep in mind, at this time, DiBenedetto was seen as a lovable underdog, and he was generally well-liked by NASCAR fans. Those allegations were never corroborated, and Ware found himself on the wrong side of the NASCAR fanbase.

Fast forward to 2023, and Ware is arrested for felony strangulation and misdemeanor assault on a female. According to Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports, the charges were later dropped because Ware and his ex-girlfriend “Decided not to cooperate with prosecutors”.

Ware is innocent in the eyes of the law because charges were dropped. As a result, he was reinstated by NASCAR, but, in the eyes of some fans, those charges damaged his reputation even further. Some fans have not let that go, regardless of Ware never being found guilty of the crime. It’s worth noting that not every fan holds that arrest over Ware’s head, but, the reality is that some fans do.

That being said, this is not the first time he has put himself at odds with the fanbase. A combination of bad performance, perceived nepotism, and past actions have given fans this impression of Ware. Even without the arrest, there are plenty of other reasons why fans dislike him.

Josh is one who is just not an overall fan of Ware.

Koop Designs calls Ware “Mentally unstable”

Joel believes that Ware, regardless of the arrest, is just not a good race car driver.

Fans are not happy with Cody Ware returning to the Cup Series. There are plenty of reasons for why.

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