NASCAR racer Cody Ware missed Sunday's Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, officially due to a "personal" matter. The Rick Ware Racing driver has since been arrested, with consequences for his ongoing racing career in NASCAR.
As covered by NBC Sports, Ware was arrested on April 10 by members of the Iredell County Sheriff's Office in North Carolina. Ware was charged with felony assault by strangulation (inflict serious injury), as well as a misdemeanor assault on a female, concerning an incident on April 3, according to police. Subsequent to the arrest, bond was set at $3,000 by the court. This was paid, with Ware out on bond by Monday afternoon.
The 27-year-old driver has since been indefinitely suspended from competition by NASCAR. Rick Ware Racing issued a statement on the matter on Monday in the wake of the arrest. "We are aware of the incident regarding Cody Ware and his indefinite suspension from NASCAR competition. We understand NASCAR’s position on this matter and accept their decision. The matter is still under investigation and Cody is fully cooperating with the authorities, as due process takes its course. RWR is committed to continuing our multi-car efforts in the NASCAR Cup Series and is in the process of finalizing our plans for the No. 51 entry at Martinsville Speedway, and beyond," the statement read.
At Bristol Motor Speedway, driver Matt Crafton filled in for Ware behind the wheel of the No. 51 Ford Mustang. The ex-Craftsman Truck Series champion finished 34th of 37, in part due to engine issues during the race. At this stage, it is unclear if Crafton will continue or if RWR will substitute another driver in Ware's place.
Ware's career thus far has seen him make 97 starts in NASCAR's Cup Series, racing for Rick Ware Racing, his father's team. Since 2017, Ware has had one top-ten finish in NASCAR's top series. He has also previously competed in the Craftsman Truck Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and Asian Le Mans Series, among others.
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