Maddie Meyer | Getty Images
Maddie Meyer | Getty Images

Cody Ware to miss next two race weekends; Smithley in at Richmond

Rick Ware Racing announced Friday that Cody Ware will sit out the next two NASCAR race weekends as a precautionary measure while he recovers from the effects of carbon monoxide exposure.

Ware, 25, is scheduled to miss Cup Series starts for RWR at Richmond Raceway this weekend and at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sept. 18. Garrett Smithley was named as a replacement driver in the No. 51 Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet for Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The team indicated that a substitute driver for the annual night race at Bristol will be named at a later date.

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Ware was involved in a crash with RWR teammate James Davison during the opening stage of the Cook Out Southern 500 last Sunday at Darlington Raceway. He continued but later told his crew that he was feeling ill, and he parked the damaged No. 51 entry after completing 209 of the 367 laps.

NASCAR officials said he was treated and released from the infield care center. Ware later said he was feeling the effects of carbon monoxide exposure; the team indicated that Ware was still ailing on Monday and said in a statement that “Cody felt it was in the best interest for the team to have a replacement driver for the next two races.”

Ware has competed in 25 of 27 Cup Series races this year and has entered seven events this season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He has also made his first three starts in IndyCar competition in 2021.

Smithley has made 19 Cup Series starts and two Xfinity Series appearances this season — all for Rick Ware Racing.