Rick Ware Racing (RWR) is set to take another step in expanding its already versatile motorsports portfolio for this coming season, adding a two-car effort in the Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup Series.
The organization, which already fields entries in the NASCAR Cup Series, NTT IndyCar Series, NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series, Progressive American Flat Track, and World Supercross Championship (WSX) will take on a brand-new challenge for 2024.
Preston Pardus, the four-time and defending SCCA National Champion in the Spec Miata division, will pilot one of Rick Ware Racing’s full-time entries in the Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup Series. He will be joined by Cody Ware, son of team owner Rick Ware.
“Mazda has been putting significant effort into the promotion and marketing of Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup and we wanted to be a part of its impressive growth,” said Rick Ware, owner of Rick Ware Racing. “Preston Pardus is going to run the full schedule for RWR with the goal of contending for the championship. The Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup is a very competitive series with a lot of depth. It’s been on our radar for a while and now is the right time to get involved.”
A native of New Smyrna, Florida, Pardus is the son of former NASCAR Cup Series driver Dan Pardus. The 26-year-old driver has spent the last five seasons competing part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, earning three top-10s in 23 starts.
“Being a part of Rick Ware Racing in Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup is a great opportunity and I can’t wait for the season to start,” said Pardus, whose Spec Miata titles came in the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in 2017, 2020, 2021 and 2023. “RWR has a put significant effort into their MX-5 program and having Cody as a teammate adds a lot of depth with all of his road-racing experience. With the close racing MX-5 Cup always produces, it’s a huge asset to have a teammate like Cody.”
Ware, 28, has substantial experience on road courses, most recently scoring a podium in the IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge LMP3 class at Daytona International Speedway last Saturday, driving a Ligier JS P320.
“Sports car racing is where my career began and it’s a form of racing I’ve always enjoyed,” Cody Ware said. “Preston is an accomplished road-course racer, especially in the Miatas, and we’re going to achieve a lot together.”
The Whelen Mazda MX-5 Cup begins its 2024 season on Thursday and Friday at Daytona International Speedway, the first of seven doubleheader race weekends that make up a 14-race schedule.
In 2024, the series will compete on circuits at Daytona International Speedway, Sebring International Raceway, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Virginia International Raceway, and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.