Joey Hand is back for more this season in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Rick Ware Racing announced Thursday that Hand will run all the road course events in the No. 15 Ford Mustang. There are six road courses on the schedule. Hand made his Cup Series debut with the team last year on the Charlotte Roval, finishing 27th.
“I am thrilled to have Joey Hand back with the RWR family for 2022,” said owner Rick Ware. “Joey did a great job for us this past year at the Roval, and I can’t wait to see what he will do this year with the Next Gen cars and our Ford partnership.”
Ware will have an alliance with Roush Yates Engines and Stewart-Haas Racing this season. The organization is fielding two cars, with Cody Ware the primary driver in the No. 51 alongside the No. 15. David Ragan was recently announced to drive the No. 15 car in multiple races, starting with the Daytona 500.
Sponsors for Hand’s schedule were not announced.
A factory Ford driver, Hand’s expertise is sports cars. His resume includes wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2016), Rolex 24 at Daytona (2017), and an ALMS GT championship.
“First off, I just want to thank Ford Performance and Rick Ware Racing for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to race in NASCAR,” said Hand. “It has always been high on my list, and I had a ton of fun last year. Throughout the race weekend and the subsequent Next Gen test, Rick and I developed a great relationship. With the introduction of the Next Gen car, I feel it levels the playing field, and we have a legitimate chance of running upfront.
“With support from Ford Performance and Stewart-Haas Racing, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be competitive at road courses. I feel I am already comfortable with the Next Gen car because of many similarities to the GT cars I have driven in the past.”
The first road course race is at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on March 27.
“Joey has been a key resource for our NASCAR drivers the past couple of years as far as helping them with their road course skills, so seeing him get this opportunity with RWR is only going to make our program better,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance. “We all have great faith in Joey’s ability, and even though he has only one NASCAR start to his credit, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him in victory lane this year.”