To read the entire story on IndyStar.com, crafted from Nathan Brown’s recent conversation with Rick Ware Racing owner Rick Ware CLICK HERE
Could the NASCAR Cup Series and NTT IndyCar Series continue to follow the recent trend of crossovers between the two racing series? According to a recent story from IndyStar.com’s Nathan Brown, it appears as though it may be a possibility.
Pietro Fittipaldi – the oval-only driver for Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 Honda — could be poised to break onto the NASCAR Cup Series scene as soon as this season, according to partial team owner Rick Ware, whose NASCAR Cup Series program currently fields four chartered entries on a full-time basis.
The move to have Fittipaldi participate in some NASCAR Cup Series events, along with the potential of other future crossovers between NASCAR and IndyCar, are part of a plan to create unique sponsorship value with Rick Ware Racing, through the offering of partnerships spanning both racing divisions.
However, the high level of difficulty that comes with the transition from one division to the other, or even the alternation between the two divisions, is well documented, as many successful and talented drivers have failed to have fruitful careers in one, or both series when making said transition.
After electing to retire from the NASCAR Cup Series following the 2020 season, Jimmie Johnson announced that he would contest a road course | street course schedule for Chip Ganassi Racing in the NTT IndyCar Series in 2021. Through the first six starts of Johnson’s NTT IndyCar Series career, the seven-time champion has yet to record a lead lap finish.
In a somewhat similar fashion, frequent NASCAR competitor Cody Ware has also decided to dip his foot into the NTT IndyCar Series in 2021, piloting a second Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing entry in at least three events this season. In his debut at Road America, Ware collected a respectable finish, coming home on the lead lap in 19th.
The plan for Ware – who runs the majority of the schedule in the NASCAR Cup Series — is to run two more NTT IndyCar Series events, on Nashville’s street course and Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Road Course, where Ware will run triple-duty between the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NTT IndyCar Series, the first driver to attempt a triple header weekend in that respect.
Looking at the other side of the coin, we have six-time Indianapolis 500 starter James Davison, who through Rick Ware Racing has contested 28 NASCAR Cup Series events over the last 12 months, recording a pair of 22nd-place results at Martinsville and Daytona’s Road Course this season.
Finally, sitting somewhere in the middle of his transition from IndyCar to NASCAR’s top-three series is Santino Ferrucci, who between the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NTT IndyCar Series has contested a total of eight events this season, achieving positive results in both disciplines.
In the NTT IndyCar Series, Ferrucci’s three contests for Rahal-Letterman Lanigan Racing have all resulted in top-10s, including a sixth-place result in the Indianapolis 500, which came after a nasty accident in practice that left questions about the 23-year-old being able to compete in the event.
On the NASCAR side, Ferrucci was initially scheduled to participate in ‘about 20 races’ for Sam Hunt Racing’s No. 26 Toyota Supra this season, but has seemingly had his schedule reduced to under 10 races. However, to the surprise of many, Ferrucci has adapted quickly to having fenders on the car, recording four top-15 finishes in five starts.
In an attempt to secure additional details regarding a potential move to the NASCAR Cup Series for Pietro Fittipaldi, TobyChristie.com has reached out to Rick Ware Racing, but at the time of publishing has yet to received a response. If a response is received, the subsequent updates will be posted at the top of this story.