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Garrett Smithley Driving No. 51 Rick Ware Racing Car at Richmond, Filling in For Cody Ware

Cody Ware pilots the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet Camaro around Darlington Raceway. Photo Credit: @RickWareRacing on Twitter.

Garrett Smithley will make his 20th start of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway.

According to NASCAR’s Team Roster Portal, Smithley will drive the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing entry, which is usually piloted by Cody Ware.

On Friday, the team confirmed Smithley will be filling in for Ware in Saturday’s race and that Ware will also miss next week’s race at Bristol in the following statement:

”After being treated in the infield care center at Darlington Raceway this past weekend, Cody Ware will be sidelined for a precautionary measure for both Richmond Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway. On Monday, after being treated, Cody still was feeling  adverse effects of Carbon Monoxide. Cody felt that it was in the best interest of the team to have a replacement driver for the next two races. Garrett Smithley will pilot the No. 51 20th Anniversary 9/11 Tribute Tunnel to Towers car at Richmond Raceway this weekend. The driver for Bristol Motor Speedway will be announced at a later date.”

Smithley’s best finish of the 2021 campaign, to date, is a 25th-place effort at Nashville Superspeedway.

Aside from a failed attempt to make the Daytona 500 in MBM Motorsports’ No. 13 entry, and running the Coca-Cola 600 in the No. 51 RWR car, Smithley has been in the No. 53 Rick Ware Racing car the entire season.

In last weekend’s Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Cody Ware suffered from Carbon Monoxide poisoning and had to retire from the race early, after completing 209 of the 367 laps.

According to a report from twitter user @racingfan83, Ware reported on his radio at Darlington that he was starting to black out behind the wheel and that he needed to go to the care center.

Late in the evening on September 5th, Ware tweeted an update on his condition, where he confirmed the carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Nasty bout of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, doing a lot better thanks to medical,” Ware tweeted. “Thanks to everyone who checked in on me. Time for some cookout and sleep…”

Toby Christie View All

Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.

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