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Crafton, 46, will drive the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing Ford Mustang in Sunday’s Cup race on the Bristol Dirt. He will be filling in for Cody Ware, who was forced to step away for the weekend.
RWR posted the following statement: “Cody Ware will step away from racing this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway to focus on a personal matter. Matt Crafton will drive the No. 51 Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing. Crafton has more than 500 overall-starts in his NASCAR career, winning back-to-back NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships in 2013 and 2014.
“The Ware family asks that their privacy be respected during this time.”
Although Crafton is a three-time champion of the Truck Series, he has a limited number of appearances at the Cup level.
He made his first start in the 2015 Daytona 500, subbing for an injured Kyle Busch and finishing 18th. He raced again in 2019 after medical issues sidelined Matt Tifft, finishing 25th at Martinsville.
Another four years later, he is back in a substitute role once again.
Ware sits 31st in the championship standings after seven races, with a best finish of 14th this year.