For Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series speed on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, Rick Ware Racing has enlisted the services of IMSA passe Joey Hand. Hand, who has never raced in NASCAR, will force the #52 Ford Mustang.
A staple of American sports car racing for 2 decades, Hand competes within the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship after being a recent in its predecessors Rolex Sports Car Series and American Le Mans Series; he acquired the latter’s GT class championship in 2011. He used to be a longtime member of Chip Ganassi Racing and grew to become a Ford Performance factory driver in 2015, at some stage in which he scored his first of six WTSCC wins before ending fourth within the Prototype standings. Two years later, now within the GT division with CGR, Hand acquired the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona GTLM class.
From 2016 to 2019, Hand contested the 24 Hours of Le Mans with CGR and Ford; he previously made his début within the patience speed in 2011 for BMW. The combo, joined by Sébastien Bourdais and Dirk Müller, loved wide success in their first 365 days after they scored the GTE Skilled class employ. The victory also came fifty years after Ford famously acquired the 1966 version for the score’s maiden Le Mans triumph.
“We worth the entirety that Joey contributed to our GT programme and hold tried to defend him all in favour of our motorsports programme ever since as a coach for our NASCAR drivers and as a product ambassador for the Ford GT,” Ford Performance global director of motorsports Tag Rushbrook acknowledged. “We undercover agent Joey as being one of essentially the most attention-grabbing street racers within the field and relish NASCAR working with us to score him accredited for opponents this weekend. We’re assured he’s going to achieve a wide job. He has wide respect for the game and the opponents in NASCAR.”
Hand’s racing abilities also has the open-wheel ladder, which incorporated a hit the 1999 title in what is now the Indy Skilled 2000 Championship, and DTM from 2012 to 2014. The aged allowed him to join with Mike Shank, who alongside with Heinricher Racing gave him a hotfoot for the 2020 IMSA finale within the 12 Hours of Sebring, a speed that he acquired in 2011 and 2012.
“I reach from a street racing background and hold followed Joey’s profession eternally, so it’s very thrilling so as to hold but another driver score their Cup Series début with RWR, critically with somebody of his stature,” talked about Rick Ware. “Right here’s a genuine chance for us to acknowledge where our programme is at by plan of street classes, and having somebody of Joey’s caliber will inspire as a genuine benchmark for sure.”
The #52 has mainly been driven by rookie Josh Bilicki (who also has a sports car background), who will pass to the multi-driver #15 for the Roval. Hand is the second sports car passe to début in NASCAR with RWR in 2021 after Ryan Eversley at Street The USA.
“This suggests plenty to me so as to achieve this with Ford,” commented Hand. “To be part of the historic Ford GT programme, and to hold had developed one of these wide relationship with Bill and Edsel Ford, and so many other other folks at Ford Performance these past few years, it factual appears to be like ethical so as to hold a Blue Oval on my car after I score my NASCAR début.
“I repeatedly thought that NASCAR used to be the region for me on fable of I almost thrive in eventualities where I’ve acquired a shrimp ruin and the car shouldn’t be speedy, however you be succesful to force round it. I’ve repeatedly felt that’s the plan NASCAR used to be on fable of if a fender will get broken, they tape it up and defend going. It’s like a fight to the death and that’s my vogue. That’s what has repeatedly attracted me to NASCAR. On high of that, I’ve spent most of my existence in all plenty of kinds of autos and this weekend will reasonably considerable total the circle as far as that goes. I’ve repeatedly factual desired to enlighten I’ve driven it all and I wheeled it all at a genuine tempo.
“I’m bored with watching video of closing 365 days’s Roval speed. I’m ready for the genuine thing and can’t wait to score within the lend a hand of that wheel.”