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Ware seeking support for ECU car

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Cody Ware makes a lap in June at Dover International Speedway in the Rick Ware Racing car sponsored by East Carolina.

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By JORDAN ANDERS
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

For the second time, Rick Ware Racing is searching for help to put an East Carolina-decaled car on the track in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Eight weeks after the race team was forced to punt on the second race of a planned three-race deal between the two entities, RWR now may have to forgo its plan to have the Pirates on its No. 51 Chevrolet for Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va.

The team’s marketing director, Bryan Clodfelter, said Tuesday the endeavor has once again struggled to drum up the supplemental sponsorship to cover the costs of decaling the car and taking it to Richmond. Clodfelter said the team would need a minimum of $7,000 by the end of Wednesday to make it feasible to run the ECU scheme.

“We were wanting to run a black scheme this time so it wouldn’t be a full wrap and the costs wouldn’t be quite as high,” Clodfelter said. “We would have to have something in place here soon or we’re going to have to end up just trying to find someone to cover our expenses and let them have the car.”

RWR ran a purple and gold ECU car at Dover in June, where driver Cody Ware drove it to a 35th-place finish. That race was initially part of a three-race deal that would include July’s race at Indianapolis and this weekend’s race at Richmond.

ECU did not pay for its decals to be on the car, which was part of an initiative to introduce colleges and universities from across the country to the world of NASCAR marketing. The plan was to attract other local and regional sponsors who wanted to be associated with the ECU machine, but that support never materialized and the team had to pull the plug on the Indianapolis deal the week of that race.

Should the plans to run the ECU decals this week fall through, Clodfelter said the team could theoretically try to run them at a race not previously announced if the right financial support comes along, naming Dover (Oct. 1), Charlotte (Oct. 8) and Martinsville (Oct. 29) as potential dates.

“I really thought there’d be enough interest and that people would embrace it a little more than they have, but I understand people have budgets,” Clodfelter said. “It has been a little tougher than I expected. We’re going to keep plugging and keep trying to get that car on the track.”

Anyone who wants information about possibly sponsoring the car can contact Clodfelter at bryan@wareracing.com

Contact Jordan Anders at janders@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 or follow @ReflectorJordan on Twitter.

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