Race Weekend Central

Garrett Smithley Returning to RWR

Garrett Smithley will return to Rick Ware Racing for multiple NASCAR Cup Series races in 2022, RWR announced Feb. 22.

Smithley will drive the No. 15 during the West Coast swing, the next three races on the Cup schedule, beginning this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. He’ll also join the team for other races throughout the year.

“As the NASCAR Cup Series enters a new era of stock car racing with the Next Gen car, I felt it was extremely important to not only remain in the Cup Series, but to do so with an organization like RWR,” Smithley said in a team release. “The opportunity that Rick and Lisa (Ware, team owners) have offered me is special, and I am blessed to have them in my corner. I am looking forward to being a part of the next chapter at RWR, and representing Jacob Companies on-track in California.”

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Added Rick Ware: “We’re excited to have Garrett back in the fold at RWR. He has been an integral part of our organization the last few years. Our alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford and Roush Yates Engines will allow us to continue to build our program and be able to add another quality driver to our 2022 NASCAR Cup Series lineup.”

Smithley started 27 Cup races in 2021, all for RWR, with a best finish of 24th at Texas Motor Speedway.

He inherits the No. 15 that David Ragan drove to an eighth-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500, though Ragan crashed over the finish line.

Smithley is the fourth driver to be announced to the No. 15 for 2022, following Ragan, Ryan Preece and Joey Hand.

About the author

Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

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